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2021 RealTrends Brokerage Compensation Report

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Steve Murray on the importance of protecting property rights

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InvestmentsMortgageReal Estate

Private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners acquires majority interest in Ten-X

Previous owners, including Google Capital, will hold minority share

Ten-X, the parent company of Auction.com, has experienced significant growth ever since the company received a $50 million investment from Google Capital back in March 2014.

That growth including rebranding as Ten-X at the beginning of 2016, a move that company called the beginning of the “future of real estate.”

Now, the company is setting the stage for its next phase.

Ten-X announced Wednesday that Thomas H. Lee Partners, a private equity firm, is acquiring a majority stake in the company.

Specifically, Ten-X said that affiliates of Thomas H. Lee Partners will lead a “majority recapitalization” of Ten-X.

Under the terms of the deal, Ten-X’s current investors, which include Stone Point Capital, CapitalG (formerly Google Capital), members of Ten-X's senior management team, and others, will continue to hold minority stakes in the company.

According to details provided by Ten-X, the company will continue to operate as it had previously, albeit with a capital infusion from Thomas H. Lee Partners.

In a release, the company said that the capital from THL will “support Ten-X's continued growth by contributing operational and financial resources and strategic expertise as the company builds on its proven platform, pursues additional monetization opportunities, and executes on its growth objectives.”

Ten-X said that going forward, the company will keep its corporate headquarters in Irvine and Silicon Valley and will continue to be led by its chief executive officer, Tim Morse, and the other members of its senior management team.

Morse said that the company chose THL because the firm will allow Ten-X to continue growing and help accelerate that process.

“After thoughtful consideration, we determined that THL is the right equity partner for Ten-X,” Morse said.

“They have an exceptional history of investing in growth-oriented businesses, such as Ten-X, and we firmly believe that they will allow us to reach our full potential and help us build on our leading position in the online real estate market,” Morse continued. “I am also pleased that our management team and existing investors will retain an ownership position in the business as we continue to provide our customers with best-in-class solutions.”

Ten-X’s executive chairman, Jeff Frieden, said the company is “thrilled” to partner with THL on an “exciting new chapter” in the company’s history, adding that the new investment will allow Ten-X to expand its reach and increase its product and marketplace offerings.

“We also believe that the THL team shares the same core values and commitment to excellence that have made Ten-X the established leader in the online marketplace segment, making them the ideal cultural fit,” Fredien said.

Jim Carlisle, managing director at THL, said that the firm views Ten-X as an ideal investment.

“Tim Morse and Ten-X's experienced management team have created a transformational market leader in the real estate industry,” Carlisle said.

“The company's best-in-class online platform creates better outcomes for both buyers and sellers and we believe there are multiple levers for substantial growth as online penetration continues in the real estate market,” Carlisle concluded. “We all look forward to partnering with Jeff and Tim to further strengthen Ten-X's unique online platform.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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