FirstService Acquires The MERIT Companies



    Acquisition of California's Largest Residential Property Management and
    Consulting Organization

    TORONTO, April 18 /CNW/ - FirstService Corporation (NASDAQ:   FSRV; TSX:
FSV) has significantly increased the size and breadth of its residential
property management business through the acquisition of an 80% interest in The
MERIT Companies, California's largest provider of residential property
management and consulting services. Melinda Masson, Founder and CEO, will
retain the balance of the equity and will continue to manage day-to-day
operations and join the FirstService leadership team to contribute to the
strategic direction of America's leading residential property management
business. During the last 12 months, The MERIT Companies generated more than
$35 million in revenues. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Additional information on The MERIT Companies can be found on their website at
www.meritpm.com.
    "The MERIT Companies acquisition is a key strategic move to provide us
with an excellent platform for growth in California and throughout the western
US region," said Gene Gomberg, CEO of FirstService Residential Property
Management. "In addition to being one of America's most admired residential
property management companies, MERIT has always distinguished itself by
offering an integrated suite of services - everything from front-end
consulting to builders and developers of large master-planned communities to
providing management services to homeowner associations once the communities
are operational. Melinda and her management team are a great fit with our
strategic direction and we look forward to working with them."
    Founded in 1980 and based in Orange County, California, The MERIT
Companies currently contracts with more than 240 community associations
representing over 130,000 homes through a network of nine offices and more
than 400 employees located throughout California. The MERIT Companies customer
base will join FirstService's industry leading platform which manages more
than 3,500 community associations and more than 750,000 homes throughout the
US, including some of the finest and highest profile properties in the nation.
FirstService Residential Property Management is the leader in luxury hi-rise
management, active adult communities and large-scale homeowner associations.
    "I am very excited to be joining FirstService and its highly successful
residential property management group. We were attracted by their proven track
record and a unique model of partnering with strong management teams that want
to accelerate the growth of their businesses," said Melinda Masson, Founder
and Chief Executive Officer of The MERIT Companies. "FirstService has a strong
and committed team of operating partners who own equity in their businesses
providing them the incentive they need to provide the highest level of service
available. It also has a strong performance driven culture focused on
differentiating their services from those of its competitors - all important
elements of an exceptional business model."
    "Consistent with our disciplined approach to acquisitions, we did not
enter the strategically important California market until we were able to
partner with the market leader", said Jay Hennick, Founder and Chief Executive
Officer of FirstService. "Melinda Masson is an icon in the industry. She has
been a prominent influence in defining legislation in California and has been
the recipient of numerous personal and corporate awards for her many
accomplishments. We are extremely proud to have Melinda join our team and we
look forward to sharing our combined best practices and working with her and
Merit's talented management team going forward."

    About FirstService Corporation
    ------------------------------

    FirstService is a leader in the rapidly growing property services sector,
providing services in the following areas: commercial real estate; residential
property management; property improvement; and integrated security services.
Market-leading brands include Colliers International in commercial real
estate; The Continental Group, The Wentworth Group and The MERIT Companies in
residential property management; Consumer brands California Closets, Paul
Davis Restoration, Pillar to Post Home Inspections, Certa Pro Painters and
Handyman Connection, in property improvement; and Intercon Security and
Security Services & Technologies in integrated security.
    FirstService is a diversified property services company with more than
US $1.4 billion in annualized revenues and more than 13,000 employees
worldwide. More information about FirstService is available at
www.firstservice.com.

    FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

    Certain statements included in this release constitute "forward-looking
statements" within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation
Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown
risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results,
performance or achievements of FirstService, or industry results, to be
materially different from any future results, performance or achievements
expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include,
among others, the following: general economic and business conditions, which
will, among other things, impact demand for the FirstService's services,
service industry conditions and capacity; the ability of FirstService to
implement its business strategy, including FirstService's ability to acquire
suitable acquisition candidates on acceptable terms and successfully integrate
newly acquired businesses with its existing businesses; changes in or the
failure to comply with government regulations (especially safety and
environmental laws and regulations); and other factors which are described in
FirstService's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and
the Canadian regulatory authorities.





For further information:

For further information: John B. Friedrichsen, Senior Vice President &
CFO, FirstService Corporation, (416) 960-9500; Gene Gomberg, CEO, FirstService
Residential Property Management, (954) 378-2300; Melinda Masson, Founder &
CEO, The MERIT Companies, (949) 448-6000

Organization Profile

FIRSTSERVICE CORPORATION

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