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Banks Continue to Acquire Mortgage Firms

Recent mortgage-related merger activity

March 8, 2010

By SAM GARCIA


Two more mortgage firms have been swallowed up by banks. But bank merger activity was still dominated by the acquisition of other banks. Three mortgage service providers, meantime, announced acquisition deals.

Crystal River Capital Inc. -- a real estate investment trust that invests in mortgage-related assets -- has agreed to be acquired by Brookfield Asset Management Inc., a Feb. 24 press release indicated. Brookfield already controls 8 percent of the New York-based company's outstanding common shares. The deal is subject to stockholder approval at Crystal River and is expected to close in the second quarter.

Recent research by MortgageDaily.com uncovered the previously unreported 2003 acquisition of Pacific Guarantee Mortgage by CMG Lending from the Royal Bank of Canada. Around 32 branches in seven states were included in the deal. Pacific, which solicits mortgage brokers to join its branch network, projected 2003 originations of $8 billion.

First Palmetto Mortgage Inc. in Greenville, S.C., was acquired by Countybank, according to published reports. The residential lender was established in 2001.

Denton, Texas-based Curtis Mortgage merged with Northstar Bank and will operate as Northstar Bank Mortgage, published news reports indicated. Curtis Mortgage President Stacy Curtis will operate as president of the division.

The two acquisitions follow Rockville Bank's recent acquisition of Family Choice Mortgage Corp. and North State Bank's recent acquisition of the mortgage operations of Affiliated Mortgage LLC.

Hudson City Bancorp Inc. announced last week that it has submitted an application to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to become to convert subsidiary Hudson City Savings Bank from a federally chartered stock savings bank regulated by the Office of Thrift Supervision to an OCC-regulated national bank. In addition, the company said it intends to file an application with the Federal Reserve to become a bank-holding company.

The Federal Reserve Board reported that the following merger applications were recently received.

Acquirer Acquisition Target Regulator Overview
Alger, Richard T.; the Richard T. Alger Revocable Trust; Richard T. Alger, trustee; and the Mason W. Alger and Dorothy Turner Alger Irrevocable Trust for Thomas M. Alger; Richard T. Alger, trustee; John Alger and Carla Alger Hometown of Homestead Banking Co., 1st National Bank of South Florida Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Acquire voting shares.
Aslin Group Inc, Aslin Opportunity Fund BK LP, Aslin Capital I LLC 1st Financial Bank Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Become bank-holding companies through acquisition of 100% of voting shares.
Bank4Texas Holdings Inc. Northern Bancshares Inc., The First National Bank of Chillicothe Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Become bank-holding company by acquiring 100% of voting shares.
Bode, Dana A., individually, and as a member of Bode Family Control Group, which consists of Dana A. Bode, Carl E. Bode, the Dana A Bode Trust U/A 01/26/07 with Dana A. Bode and Carl E. Bode as trustees; the Allison L. Bode Trust U/A 10/29/02 with Dana A. Bode as trustee; the William M. Bode Trust U/A 10/29/02 with Dana A. Bode as trustee; the Carl E. Bode Trust U/A 1/26/07 with Carl E. Bode and Dana A. Bode, as trustees; and the Bode Retirement Trust U/A 1/01/85 with Carl E. Bode as trustee FSBO Holdings Inc., First State Bank of Olmstead Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Act in concert to retain control.
Bryn Mawr Bank Corporation, Bryn Mawr First Keystone Financial Inc., First Keystone Bank Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Acquire.
Capital Z Partners III GP, LTD; Capital Z Partners III GP, L.P.; Capital Z Partners Management, LLC; Capital Z Partners III, L.P.; Bradley E. Cooper and Robert A. Spass as principals Opportunity Bancshares Inc., Opportunity Bank, N.A. Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Acquire voting shares.
Chemical Financial Corp. O.A.K. Financial Corp., Byron Bank Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Acquire 100% of voting shares.
Community Bank Investors of America LP, FA Capital LLC Progress Bank of Florida Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond Acquire additional voting shares, for a total of 49.99%.
Curry, Donna M., Trustee of the The Galen L. Curry Marital Trust, and as Voting Trustee of the Voting Trust Agreement My Anns Corp., Piqua State Bank, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Retain control.
Ertel, Allen E. and Catharine K. Ertel; Edward Ertel; Amy Etrel; Firetree Ltd Woodlands Financial Services Co., Woodlands Bank. Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Retain voting shares.
Franklin Resources Inc. West Coast Bank Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Retain 9.53% of voting shares.
The Galen L. Curry Marital Trust and Donna M. Curry, trustee My Anns Corp., Piqua State Bank Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Retain control.
Green Dot Corp. Bonneville Bancorp, Bonneville Bank Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Become bank-holding company by acquiring 100% of voting shares.
Gulfshore Bancshares Gulfshore Bank Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Become bank-holding company by acquiring 100% of voting shares.
Harris Rakestraw III, individually; and The Rogers Family Immediate Family Control Group, consisting of Harold D. Rogers, individually, and as Trustee of the Harold D. Rogers Revocable Trust, Anthony M. Rogers, John M. Rogers, Margaret Allison Rogers Citizens Bancshares Inc., Citizens National Bank of Somerset Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Acquire voting shares.
O'Leary, Carol, as an individual; Carol O'Leary; Tristar Printing Co. Inc.; Kevin S. Flink; Kristine M. O’Leary; Willis R.Whetstone Central Wisconsin Bancorporation Inc., Community Bank of Central Wisconsin Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Act as a group in concert to retain control.
Pfaff, Vernon R., individually, and as part of a group, Barbara Ann Pfaff, Bank. United Commerce Bancorp, United Commerce Bank Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Act in concert to acquire voting shares.
Platte Valley Bancorp Inc. Platte Valley Bank Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Become bank-holding company by acquiring 100% of voting shares.
Premier Commerce Bancorp Inc. G.R. Bancorp Ltd., The First National Bank of Grand Ridge Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Become bank-holding company by acquiring 100% of voting shares.
Reinking, Charles W. Exchange Bank Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Become co–Trustee of the Frank P. Doyle Trust, Article IX, and retain voting shares.
Roney, Park Randal; Blake Marshal Roney; Robert Tod Monsen; Steven Jay Lund Community Bancorporation, Western Community Bank Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Acquire voting shares.
Roy, Anthony Jennings III Mansura Bancshares Inc., The Cottonport Bank Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Retain voting shares.
Tabas, Evelyn Rome Royal Bancshares of Pennsylvania Inc., Royal Asian Bank, Royal Bank of America Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Acquire voting shares.
Texas State Bankshares Inc. Falfurrias State Bank Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Become bank-holding company by acquiring 100% of voting shares.
Tychman, David; individually and as trustee of eight Tychman/Sanders family trusts. The trustees of one or more of nine Tychman/Sanders family trusts (James Sanders, Deera Tychman, Judith Shapiro, David Tychman)

The Tysan Corp., Lake Community Bank, Pine Country Bank, Blaine State Bank

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Retroactive permission for the 9 trusts to join the Tychman/ Sanders group which controls 25% or more.
Woda, Jeffrey J.; David Cooper Jr. Benchmark Bancorp, Benchmark Bank Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Act in concert to acquire voting shares.

Paulson & Co. became the biggest stakeholder in SunTrust Banks Inc., increasing its ownership position to 6.1 percent for around 30.4 million shares, Bloomberg reported. At the same time, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. cut its holdings by 22 percent to 2.4 million shares.

With its acquisition by Catalizador Private Equity Fund, MortgageDashboard plans to shift its focus from mortgage brokers to mid-tier banks, a statement last month indicated. Catalizador -- a Dallas-based private investment fund headed by managing partner and super-originator Jim McMahan -- acquired the loan origination system developer last fall when it was "on the brink of insolvency."

Verisk Analytics Inc. said on March 1 it acquired Strategic Analytics. Jersey City, N.J.-based Verisk plans to operate the acquired firm within its Interthinx subsidiary. Services at the integrated unit will include forecasting, stress testing and economic capital requirement tools for analyzing credit portfolios.

Dolan Media Co. reported last month that it will increase its ownership interest in National Default Exchange to 93.8 percent from 92.3 percent through the redemption of a minority interest. Feiwell & Hannoy PC, an Indianapolis law firm, is the seller.


Sam Garcia worked in mortgage lending for twenty years prior to becoming publisher of MortgageDaily.com in 2000.

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