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PARSIPPANY, NJ–The newly formed Hospitality Group of Coldwell Banker Commercial, based here, has reeled in a new client, and it’s a biggie. The unit will provide property acquisition, disposition and other services for New York-based Cendant’s myriad hotel and motel franchisees around the world.

The Hospitality Group itself came about because Coldwell Banker Commercial’s hospitality dealmaking transactions more than doubled from 1998 and 1999 and have been growing at a rate of 60% this year, necessitating a separate unit to handle the volume. The group is providing those services through the company’s network of more than 400 owned and affiliated offices.

The Cendant package is a monster-–the world’s biggest lodging franchiser, it encompasses more than 6,400 hotel properties, operated by some 5,000 franchisees on five continents. Domestically, its franchised hotels play host to more than 90 million customers booking 110 million room nights a year. It’s estimated that about one in six hotel guests stay in a Cendant-franchised room each year. Those hotels operate under such well-known names as Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Ramada, Super 8, Travelodge, Wingate, Knights Inn and Villager Lodge.

“Our market coverage will provide a connection between Cendant’s real estate and hospitality divisions,” according to Coldwell’s Jerry Anderson. He’s referring to the fact that Cendant has substantial interests in residential and other real estate and financial operations. Indeed, a number of the company’s real estate brokerage franchisees operate under the Coldwell Banker banner, which gave the Hospitality Group the inside track to begin with. The company also owns Avis car rental and other travel-related operations.

“The end result of this agreement is increased value-added services to our hotel group and our real estate franchisees,” according to Anderson.

Adds Eric Pfeffer, chairman and chief executive officer of Cendant’s Hotel Division, “the Hospitality Group will help provide us with more comprehensive and individualized services for our franchisees.”

And the agreement should play well abroad. Coldwell Banker Commercial’s own off-shore operations extend to Europe, the Middle East, China, Singapore and Central America. Its 3,000 domestic and international offices have more than 3,000 brokers and sales associates.

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