As announced previously, ABoR has been exploring the possibility of merging its MLS with the MLS of the San Antonio Board of REALTORS® (SABOR). While these discussions remain in preliminary stages, with neither organization committing to taking action, our leadership does believe it is possible such a step could bring value to the membership, as described in a news release earlier this year. As the Board of Directors has continued to explore this possibility, some have wondered who is involved in those discussions and why. The following provides answers to those questions.
The consideration of a merger between the MLSs of ABoR and SABOR originated from and continues to be led by members of ABoR’s Board of Directors. Understanding that negotiations such as these entail significant amounts of very sensitive information, the Board of Directors determined that only the Officers of the Board (President, President-Elect, Secretary-Treasurer and Past President) and key executive staff (CEO, Director of Operations and the Director of MLS) should participate in the detailed aspects of due diligence now underway. Similarly, SABOR has also appointed a small number of board members and executive staff to participate. These conversations began in earnest in July 2015 and the full Board of Directors of ABoR approved this approach to participating in the negotiations.
We agreed to that approach in part because ABoR would never expose the sensitive information involved in such explorations to a large group of people outside our organization, and so we would not ask that of the partners with whom we’re negotiating in good faith. If those interactions were to be opened to the full Boards of Directors of both organizations plus their executive staff, that would entail more than 40 people and would not be practical for the informed, thorough and candid discussions necessary for such a sensitive and complex matter. Thus, in following the routine practices related to due diligence for corporate transactions such as this would be, ABoR has created a small team to evaluate this possibility.
As with all major ABoR decisions, however, the organization would not move forward with any recommendation by this group without presenting a full rationale and voting on the matter as a full Board of Directors. In fact, the ABoR and SABOR task forces participating in these conversations have met and explored a variety of potential business models, regularly informing the full Board of Directors of the substance of those analyses and keeping them abreast of ongoing developments. There have been no final recommendations made about the future of ABoR’s relationship with SABoR and most importantly, any such decision would be made in accordance with ABoR’s governance policy and commitment to transparency, involving its entire Board of Directors.