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Acquisition of LPS a Done Deal

More acquisitions could be ahead

Jan. 3, 2014

By Mortgage Daily staff

A provider of data and services for real estate finance has been acquired by its former parent in a cash-and-stock deal, and more acquisitions could be ahead.

The acquired company is Jacksonville, Fla.-based Lenders Processing Services Inc., according to a news release issued on Thursday.

LPS bills itself as "a leading provider of integrated technology, data and analytics to the mortgage and real estate industries."

The buyer: Jacksonville-based Fidelity National Financial Inc., which calls itself "a leading provider of title insurance, mortgage services and diversified services."

The deal was originally announced in May 2013.

LPS common shareholders get $28.10 in cash per LPS share plus $9.04 in FNF shares, which trade on the NYSE under the symbol FNF.

LPS was a division of Fidelity National Information Services Inc. until July 2, 2008, when it was divested in a public offering. But the two companies maintained a working relationship after the divestiture.

FNF Chairman William P. Foley II noted in the statement that the deal brings market-leading technology solutions and services back into FNF.

"This combination creates a larger, broader, more diversified and recurring revenue base for FNF and makes us the nation's leading provider of transaction services and technology solutions to the real estate and mortgage industries," Foley stated. "We also believe that there will be future complementary acquisition opportunities, particularly in the core mortgage technology business, that will serve to enhance organic growth. This is a strategic acquisition that we believe will provide a platform for future growth opportunities that can continue to create significant value for our shareholders."

LPS became embroiled in a robo-signing scandal as a result of its September 2005 acquisition of DocX LLC, which was founded in the 1990s.

The subsidiary, at the direction of its then-chief executive officer Lorraine Brown, allegedly filed more than 1 million fraudulently signed and notarized mortgage-related documents with county recorders' offices throughout the country.

LPS settled DocX charges in January 2013 with attorneys general from 46 states and the District of Columbia for $127 million.

The following month, LPS settled with the U.S. Department of Justice for $35 million -- avoiding criminal prosecution in the process.

Brown, who pled guilty with the state of Michigan in February 2013, was sentenced three months later to between 40 months and 20 years in prison.

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