Cendant breaks off talks with possible buyer

August 22, 2004|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

Cendant Corp., the largest U.S. travel and real estate services company, said last week that it ended talks with a potential buyer of its mortgage business.

Cendant will talk with other possible buyers of the unit as well as consider "strategic alternatives," the New York-based company said in a statement. It didn't name the potential buyer or why the talks collapsed. Cendant said last month it was in talks to sell the unit for as much as $1 billion.

Chief executive Henry Silverman, 64, is divesting businesses that are secondary to Cendant's main real estate and travel units. Cendant said it would continue to participate in the mortgage business after a sale through its residential real estate and relocation units.

Cendant was in talks with Countrywide Financial Corp. to sell the mortgage unit, the New York Post said last month.

Cendant's real estate unit franchises Century 21 and Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerages. The company also acquires brokerages through NRT Inc.

Cendant says it has a hand in one of every four home sales in the United States.

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