A company controlled by billionaire investor Warren Buffett announced today it has acquired Fresno-based brokerage firm Guarantee Real Estate. The terms of the deal were not released.
Guarantee will now be a division of Minneapolis-based Home Services of America, Inc., which is affiliated with Buffet's firm Berkshire Hathaway.
Guarantee was one of Central California's largest real estate brokerage firms, with over 400 employees in 13 offices. In 2011, the company handled transactions for over 3,700 units, totaling over $600 million.
Guarantee's roots date back nearly 100 years. The company was founded in 1919, and for much of the last century was one of the San Joaquin Valley's leading financial institutions, operating as a regional savings and loan.
In 1987, Guarantee Savings was acquired by southern California based Glendale Federal Bank. The real estate brokerage was spun off in 1991, and retained the Guarantee name and logo.
Current Guarantee co-chairs Joan Eaton and Paul Gibson will remain with the company in strategic planning roles, and Guarantee's J. Scott Leonard will continue as president and CEO with the firm.
HomeServices of America is the nation's second-largest real estate brokerage firm. Last year the firm handled over 145,000 transactions worth nearly $42 billion. The company operates 27 regional brands with over 16,000 employees in 21 states.