[UPDATE: A Stirling Properties representative called after this story was posted to clarify that Stirling is only selling its residential division, ERA Stirling Properties, in both greater New Orleans and Baton Rouge to Latter & Blum. The local residential division, as reported, has been sold to Van Eaton & Romero. More information will be forthcoming later today in a press release, she said, at which time this posting will be fully updated.]

Van Eaton & Romero, already the largest real estate brokerage firm in Acadiana, purchased the residential division of ERA Stirling Properties’ Lafayette office, a press release confirmed Tuesday morning. But real estate sources say New Orleans-based Latter & Blum Realtors may be getting a much bigger piece of the action, buying the residential division of Stirling Properties, which is headquartered in Covington.

It does not appear as though the Latter & Blum purchase will have much local impact, as sources close to the deal say the commercial division of Stirling’s Lafayette office, located at 1819 W. Pinhook Road, is not part of the transaction and will continue to operate as Stirling Properties. It is unclear which Stirling offices and divisions are included in the buyout or if the deal has been finalized.

Voice mail messages left for Stirling Properties and ERA Stirling Properties President and Chief Executive Officer Marty Mayer and the firm’s marketing department were not immediately returned, nor was a voice mail message left on the cell phone of Latter & Blum Marketing and Communications Director Stephen Waring.

Latter & Blum Inc. and its affiliates (the firm has a property management operation on Lafayette) are the largest full-service real estate brokerage in Louisiana and Mississippi, according to the company’s website. Established in 1916 in New Orleans, the firm has offices in Baton Rouge, Alexandria and along the Mississippi Gulf Coast that handle all phases of residential and commercial sales and leasing.

Stirling Properties’ website indicates that is has formal relationships with more than 350 real estate professionals whose scope of services include the development, sale and leasing of commercial properties, investment sales, property and asset management, project management, buyer and tenant representation and residential real estate services. In addition to its Covington operations, Stirling has Louisiana offices in New Orleans, Metairie, Hammond, Mandeville, Baton Rouge, Prairieville, Bossier City/Shreveport and New Iberia. Its portfolio includes local and regional shopping centers, office buildings and business parks.

Van Eaton & Romero Inc. and the residential division of ERA Stirling Properties/Lafayette announced Tuesday morning that the companies have finalized an agreement that will bring together two of the area's best-known real estate brands. Effective immediately, the acquisition increases the size of Van Eaton & Romero by roughly 22 percent of the residential market share, Van Eaton officials say in the release.

Van Eaton employs approximately 200 people, including staff and real estate agents, and Stirling's local office has about 60 agents.

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