FirstRock acquires majority stake in Century 21
Merged entity will look to expand across Caribbean
(From left) Directors of FirstRock Century Holdings Limited Jordan Chin, Deborah Cummings, Sarah Cummings, and George Cummings were all smiles for our lens at the FirstRock and Century 21 partnership announcement on Thursday at the AC Hotel..

FIRSTRock has announced that it has acquired a majority stake in Century 21 and has already set its sights on expanding the new brand across the region.

With the acquisition, which was announced late Thursday, the new entity will be known as FirstRock Century Holdings Limited.

"We've acquired a majority stake in Century 21, because the vision and synergy for Century 21 and FirstRock align squarely," Jordan Chin, the executive chairman of the merged entity, told the Jamaica Observer. He, however, declined to say the size of the stake First Rock has taken in Century 21.

"We are a real estate development company and Century 21 is a real estate brokerage, and we believe Century 21 is the ideal real estate brokerage to grow and move with FirstRock as a partner to push the mergers, acquisitions, sales and developments that we are doing currently," Chin added.

He said First Rock is currently in dialogue to expand the Century 21 brand regionally, "where First Rock currently has properties," but said he could say no more because of the sensitive nature of the discussions.

However, he said First Rock is definitely interested in the Caribbean franchises of Century 21. There are 14 franchises in the Caribbean.

In Jamaica, before the acquisition, Heave-Ho Properties Limited was the legal franchise holder of the international Century 21 real estate brand. It was led businesswoman Deborah Cumming, who will remain as the CEO of First Rock Century Holdings.

The company's board of directors will be chaired by Jordan Chin and has been expanded to include Ryan Reid, Michael Banbury, Rohan Grant and Sean Shelton.

Century 21 Heave-Ho Properties has been in the real estate business in Jamaica for over 30 years, with a workforce of 50+ agents, and offices in Kingston and Montego Bay. Cumming founded Century 21 Heave-Ho Properties in 1998 and, under her leadership, the company has grown into one of the top three brokerages in the country.

"I feel there will be a positive synergy between First Rock Group and Century 21 Heave-Ho Properties and that together we will play a key role in the development plans of First Rock in Jamaica and the Caribbean. We will be able to realise on new ventures and market opportunities. This will benefit us both, and, of course, our agents," Cumming was quoted as saying in a release on the deal.

"We are really looking forward to the strong working relationship with Debbie and her team. We are entering this space in a meaningful and aggressive way and will further capitalise on any potential mergers and acquisitions in the real estate industry across the region. We think as a group and board, the space is ripe for growth capital, and especially given the continuing outlook for the construction sector in Jamaica, the Caribbean, and naturally the direct correlation to the real estate sector," Ryan Reid, director of First Rock Century Holdings, added.

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