The Real Deal New York

Sitt likely to remain as partner in Town amid Agency merger

Companies are in negotiations over name change

May 23, 2016 12:30PM
By Katherine Clarke

From left: Joe Sitt, Mauricio Umansky and Andrew Heiberger

Thor Equities chief Joseph Sitt is likely to remain on as a partner at Town Residential amid its merger with Los Angeles-based brokerage the Agency, according to Town CEO Andrew Heiberger.

Heiberger said it’s likely that both he and Sitt will stay on as partners alongside Agency founders Billy Rose and Mauricio Umansky. The two parties are likely to complete a deal in the next few weeks, Heiberger said.

“As it’s panning out now, I expect that we will remain on as partners, based on the current status of negotiations,” he said, declining to comment on the exact stakes the respective partners will take.

The heads of the two companies are debating what to call the combined brand, with possibilities including various combinations of the respective brands, such as Town Agency or Agency Town.

“I think that when you’re merging two best-in-class companies from two different markets, it’s very important for there to be thoughtful debate and a due diligence process regarding the brand,” Heiberger said, adding it was important for him to retain the Town brand, which he said cost “tens and tens of millions” to establish.

Heiberger said he and Sitt hope the merger will serve as a starting point for Town’s national growth.

“While this deal on its own is huge, it’s relatively small compared to the potential that it brings,” he said.

Town closed $872.9 million in sell-side deals last year, up 65 percent from 2015, according to TRD’s most recent brokerage ranking.

Heiberger and Sitt have been co-owners of Town since 2012, when Sitt was brought on board as an investor and became co-chairman. But for more than a year, rumors have swirled that Sitt was looking to exit his stake, the value of which is unclear. He didn’t not respond to numerous requests for comment.

Representatives for the Agency also did not respond to requests for comment.

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