Realogy, one of the biggest U.S. real estate brokerage, recently took the unusual step of disclosing to the Securities and Exchange Commission a company memo sent by CEO Ryan Schneider to his employees outlining something that wasn’t going to happen.
The internal memo was a response to a recent court filing by smaller rival Compass claiming that Schneider had discussed selling his company. In 2018 Realogy handled $176.4 billion in real estate transactions, and Compass was involved in $45.5 billion of sales, according to REAL Trends, a real estate data firm. Realogy filed suit against Compass in July alleging it engaged in illegal activities in a bid to edge out its competitors “at all costs.”
“As we expected, Compass filed a motion to dismiss our lawsuit,” Schneider said in the memo. “Not surprising to us, they issued a media statement designed to inspire sensational news coverage about Realogy that is simply not true. Compass’s misleading statement was clearly designed to create distraction for Realogy employees, agents and franchisees on which they could later try to capitalize. While we generally do not comment on pending litigation outside the company or even within the company, we want to be clear with you that we have never had discussions to sell or merge Realogy with Compass.”
Compass told the court that if Realogy’s suit wasn’t dismissed it would file counterclaims based on “a meeting arranged by Realogy CEO Ryan Schneider in which Schneider discussed that he had considered selling the company.”
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