Real estate franchise giant Cendant said today that it’s plan to separate into four independent companies is on track, with the spin-off of the new Real Estate Services company expected in the spring of 2006.

Cendant’s Chairman and CEO Henry Silverman will become chairman and CEO of the new Real Estate Services company when the spin-off is complete, and Richard Smith, who initially was to be the CEO of the new real estate company, will serve as vice chairman and president of that company, according to a company statement this morning.

“The Board, my colleagues, our advisors and our lenders felt it was important for me to remain involved as CEO of one of the new companies, and Richard Smith and I agreed that I could provide the greatest benefit at the Real Estate Services company,” Silverman said in a statement today.

Silverman will remain chairman and CEO of Cendant until the corporation has separated into four public companies. The company also noted that Silverman would not receive any compensation as an executive of any of the new companies.

In addition to real estate, Cendant has holdings in the travel distribution, hospitality and automobile rental businesses, each of which will be spun off in 2006 as individual public companies. The Hospitality company is expected to spin off next summer and the new Travel Distribution Services company in early October.

In announcing the progress and executive changes today, Cendant also revised its fourth-quarter financial projections due to challenges within its travel distribution division. The company now projects fourth-quarter earnings per share of 23 cents a share, at the low end range of its previous projection between 23 cents and 26 cents.

Cendant also announced, for the first quarter of 2006, estimates for its year-over-year growth in revenue and EBITDA, excluding the company’s former mortgage business, of approximately 8-10 percent. Earnings per share from continuing operations (before separation costs) is expected to be 18-20 cents per share.

The first quarter of 2006 is anticipated to be the last quarter that Cendant reports consolidated results.

Cendant primarily provides travel and residential real estate services. The company’s real estate brands include Century 21, Coldwell Banker, Coldwell Banker Commercial, ERA and Sotheby’s International Realty.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to jessica@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 133.

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