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Expansion to Follow Acquisition of Warehouse Lender

Stonegate to acquire NattyMac

Sept. 5, 2012

By staff

A deal has been struck for a fast-growing residential lender to acquire a warehouse lender from an investment firm. The acquisition will enable warehouse financing to be expanded to agency servicing flow transactions.

The privately held investment firm of Guggenheim Partners has reached an agreement to sell NattyMac to Stonegate Mortgage, according to an announcement Wednesday.

NattyMac Chief Operating Officer John VanDolah, along with a staff of 20 employees, will join Stonegate and continue to operate from the company's St. Petersburg, Fla., headquarters.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

NattyMac reportedly started offering warehouse lines in 2004.

"As a part of Stonegate Mortgage, we will now be able to offer NattyMac and Stonegate's clients an integrated solution which will provide not only liquidity for agency eligible loans but also reduced compliance, collateral and operating risk," VanDolah said in the news release.

Indianapolis-based Stonegate claims to be "one of the nation's largest and fastest growing independently-owned mortgage lenders and servicers." It expanded third-party originations and its servicing portfolio in March following a $25 million private equity investment by Long Ridge Equity Partners.

Last year's originations totaled $1.1 billion at Stonegate, while production during just the first half of this year has already reached $1.0 billion.

Nearly 50 new employees were added in the first-half 2012, bringing Stonegate's headcount to 254. Another 92 are expected to be hired by the end of the year.

Stonegate reports that year-to-date revenues have soared 340 percent from 2011, while its servicing portfolio has increased 235 percent thanks to a correspondent channel that has grown 519 percent over last year.

The acquisition of NattyMac is part of a strategy to create an integrated warehouse and loan sale solution for its clients. Stonegate said it plans to expand the warehouse financing platform by offering servicing flow transactions for loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae.

In addition, Stonegate will open a regional a regional operations center in the NattyMac offices.

"We intend to ensure that the independent mortgage banker has access not only to warehouse financing, but liquidity for their agency loans," Stonegate Mortgage Chief Executive Officer Jim Cutillo said in the news release.

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