PHH buys Toronto relocation firm


PHH Corp. of Hunt Valley said yesterday that it has bough Canada's biggest company specializing in services to workers being transferred by their employers, in a move to integrate the relocation business throughout North America.

PHH said its PHH Homequity division, based in Wilton, Conn., had closed a deal to buy ERS Ltd., headquartered in Toronto. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

"It [ERS] was three times our size in Canada," said Stephen A. Fragapane, PHH Corp. senior vice president for relocation and real estate services.

"We'll turn our sights toward Mexico. . . . We're very much aware that our clients are looking to North America as a [single] market that they need to understand and be aware of."

Mr. Fragapane said ERS had about $80 million a year in annual revenues and 150 employees, making it about a tenth as big as PHH'sworldwide personnel relocation services business.

PHH Homequity had about 50 Canadian-based employees, Mr. Fragapane said.

He said the merger is awaiting approval from the Canadian government.

PHH said that in its last fiscal year, PHH Homequity served more than 40,000 relocating families and managed approximately $5 billion in residential real estate on behalf of more than 1,000 corporate and government clients.

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