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Mortgage Merger Madness

Recent mortgage-related mergers and acquisitions

June 14, 2010

By SAM GARCIA


Potential suitors have been found for a huge commercial mortgage servicer. Meanwhile, an Illinois bank has expanded its market with the acquisition of a Wisconsin lender, and two Maryland brokers are combining forces to become a mortgage banker.

The acquisition of Sussex, Wis.-based Complete Mortgage Inc. was announced on June 1 by Mortgage Services III LLC. The move by the Bloomington, Ill.-based subsidiary of First State Bank it expected to expand its footprint north to the Milwaukee market. The acquired operation will focus on conventional, USDA and residential government programs.

"Complete Mortgage has been a valued wholesale lending partner for years and will be a valued asset to the Mortgage Services Home Loan Team," Mortgage Services III President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Young stated in the news release.

In Rockville, Md., Nationwide Home Mortgage Inc. announced a merger with Apex Home Loans Inc. Nationwide is 14 years old, while Bethesda, Md.-based Apex opened in 1998. Combined support staff stands at 30.

The merged organization will operate from Rockville as Apex Home Loans Inc. and rank as "the largest independent mortgage banking firm headquartered in Montgomery County." In addition, the transaction includes a transition from mortgage brokers for both firms to a mortgage banker.

The CEO of Apex will be Apex co-founder Craig Strent.

Apollo Global Management LP and Centerbridge Capital Partners LLC made competing bids for CW Financial Services, Bloomberg reported last month. CW is parent to CWCapital Asset Management -- the second-largest special servicer for delinquent commercial mortgages with a special servicing portfolio of $143 billion.

A June 1 news release indicated that First American Financial Corp. has been spunoff from The First American Corp. The spinoff netted each shareholder of The First American Corp. one common share of First American Financial.

The First American Corp. re-incorporated in Delaware under the name CoreLogic Inc. and is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CLGX. First American Financial trades under the NYSE symbol FAF.

Affiliates of Stone Point Capital LLC and Hellman & Friedman LLC acquired a 32 percent equity stake in Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc. from Fidelity National Financial Inc., an announcement last month indicated. The deal included cash and debt repayment of $1.1 billion, netting Fidelity more than $0.2 billion.


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

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