At the stroke of midnight July 31, two of Cendant's four major business units will be spun off, and the other two will split in August, leaving four separate companies in place of one in a process that began last October.

On the surface, the split should be easy because the management teams and personnel were already in place, dealing with the same products, customers and business partners.

But that doesn't make the changeover any less complicated, said Stephen Holmes, Cendant's vice chairman who will take over as chairman and chief executive of the hospitality division that will emerge Tuesday as Wyndham Worldwide Corp.

"It's an extraordinary process," Holmes said. "We began with the plan to break up into four companies and had to determine how do we create the infrastructure" to support the new entities.

Even though Cendant's executives are used to acquisitions and divestitures – that's how the company grew from a small Parsippany-based hotel franchiser into a $20 billion enterprise – "the amount of effort to get this split-up done was a surprise," Holmes said.

"Those [previous] integrations were dwarfed by efforts to make one company into four."

It's not as simple as just printing some new letterhead, said Mark Panus, spokesman for Realogy Corp., the new real estate division.

"It was a huge effort on the corporate side," Panus said. "Going forward with the spin-offs, each company had to have its own corporate service players."

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