| Photo by Elizabeth Rose
|VER's Bill Bacqué, Gail Romero and Nancy Van Eaton Broussard joined Latter & Blum Chairman and CEO Robert Merrick, second from left, and President Richard Haase Wednesday to announce a merger of the two companies.
As ABiz reported online Monday, speculation had been heating up lately that a deal was cooking between the two companies — Van Eaton & Romero appeared to be a good fit for the aggressively expanding New Orleans-based real estate entity. The largest real estate firm in the Crescent City, Latter & Blum in the past entered into similar agreements with C.J. Brown in Baton Rouge and Noles-Frye in Alexandria, both tops in their respective markets. Like those firms, Van Eaton will retain its autonomy and brand, with the line “A Latter & Blum Company” added to all of its marketing and advertising.
The value and terms of the merger were not disclosed. “There was no money that changed hands,” Bacqué tells ABiz, explaining that the trio of owners will be stockholders in Latter & Blum Holding Company.
Van Eaton & Romero’s principals said they will all remain with the firm; at this point in the dealings there is no strategy for any of them to retire, according to Bacqué. “It’s part of a succession plan but not one where we have any vision of walking away.” The merger is the mechanism that will ensure the local company has continuity for its agents long beyond his and his partners’ work there, he says.
Van Eaton-Broussard and Romero founded the firm in 1977; Bacqué, now 61, joined them in 1990.
Latter & Blum’s companies will finish 2012 with almost $1.8 billion in total sales volume, which includes 8,400 total units sold, the company announced Wednesday.
“The technological, managerial and strategic support coupled with the regional, national and worldwide connections that we are gaining by becoming one of the Latter & Blum family of companies heightens our capabilities exponentially,” Bacqué said in a prepared statement.
“This alliance will lead to unprecedented financial strength, growth and breadth of offerings,” said Merrick, Latter & Blum’s chairman and chief executive officer. The combined entity will have a sales staff of 1,300 in the Louisiana, he added.
The value and terms of the merger were not disclosed. The deal marks a major expansion into the Acadiana market for Latter & Blum, which currently has only commercial property management and low-income housing property management operations here. Founded in 1916, the company also operates in southern Mississippi.
Abshire has rejoined the Lafayette Bar Association, where she previously served as marketing coordinator under longtime Executive Director Susan Holliday
Home-grown Baton Rouge market/deli heads to Lafayette.
Deadline for submitting noms for annual competition is March 15
Whitney Bank officials have confirmed that the downtown branch will cease to exist when it relocates its regional headquarters to River Ranch at the end of May.
So far the Democratic agenda includes proposals to expand Medicaid; increase the minimum wage; offer equal pay to women; heighten regulations on predatory lending practices, like payday loans; and add more transparency in the governor’s office.
Hot-button education issues ranging from Common Core to charter schools have some lawmakers pushing to scrap the appointing process and go back to electing the state's super.
Downtown Lafayette restaurant launches new concept near Le Triomphe
Police say the handcuffed man fatally shot himself in the back, but his family isn't buying the story.
Yeah, it's smoked venison sausage stuffed in a suckling pig stuffed in a lamb and roasted over an open fire.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gov. Bobby Jindal offered a budget proposal that suggests new education and health care spending, pay raises for state workers and an incentive fund to encourage colleges to enhance their science, engineering and technology training.
Reamco founders Brent Milam and Ashley Lane now shareholders in acquiring company and part of its management team.
Low heels, high style
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday, March 11, 2014:
The board hopes to recover all fees paid, plus one-half, along with what could amount to hundreds of thousands in additional penalties.
Oh, the irony... or something like that.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our Capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
St. Patty's Day crafts
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.