| 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.
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,575 rigs were exploring for oil and 338 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs.
A crew began erecting the 25-foot mini-wheel late morning Friday in anticipation of the evening’s Hottest Night of the Year party at the park.
Frances Boothe of Nunez, who also happens to be filmmaker Stephen Meaux’s grandmother, prepares a cool-weather fave.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
New Iberia colonial or Broussard traditional home
The LPSB is poised and ready to move forward with the termination of Pat Cooper following a discussion Thursday with the attorney hired for the investigation of the superintendent, but a decision of this magnitude should be left up to the new board seated in January, especially with three pro-investigation board members bailing out come the new year.
Fiery style for game day
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Google vs. Amazon in drone race; more deaths in Syria; Russia escalates Ukraine conflict and more national and international news for Friday, August 29, 2014.
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
Three bedroom Port Barre cottage or three bedroom historic district Opelousas home
No laboring for shoppers this holiday
It will be next month before Gov. Bobby Jindal will likely get a chance to change the membership of a South Louisiana flood board that is suing dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
An abortion rights organization wants a federal judge to block enforcement of Louisiana's new abortion law while its lawsuit to overturn the law makes its way through court.
Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September.
The attention surrounding Victor White III has spiked with the release of last week’s autopsy report, which has raised a number of serious questions about the night of his death and has put the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office under an increased wave of scrutiny as more national media outlets are jumping on the story, most recently seen on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
The Acadiana Center for the Arts and the Lafayette Economic Development Authority have announced a new artist stipend program, ArtSpark, designed to offer financial aid to local artists.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
Three bedroom traditional or two bedroom Victorian cottage