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Acquisition Done, Merger On

Recent mergers, acquisitions and corporate activity

June 27, 2008


A small mortgage company has been acquired by a big bank, while two small banks have agreed to merge. Other corporate activity includes a New York-based lender that said it has been approved to issue securities backed by loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration.

Lend America reported it has been approved by the Government National Mortgage Association to issue Ginnie Mae securities. The Melville, N.Y.-based company said it transformed from a subprime lender to an FHA lender three years ago.

Webster Financial Corp. announced its chairman and chief executive officer, James C. Smith, will assume the additional role of president. Smith replaces William T. Bromage, who is leaving the Waterbury, Conn.-based company on Monday. Bromage's departure follows the closure of subsidiary Webster Bank N.A.'s wholesale lending department in December. Another subsidiary, Peoples Mortgage Co., shut down in April 2007.

Luminent Mortgage Capital Inc. said Tuesday that it expects principal and interest cash flows on its portfolio of mortgage-backed securities of $31.3 million over the next 12 months. The Philadelphia-based company noted the recent sale of much of its MBS portfolio put a significant strain on its projected portfolio cash flow.

Washington Mutual Inc. reported this week that most of its shareholders approved proposals to raise $7 billion in capital. The proposals call for an increase in the number of authorized common shares so that recently issued preferred shares can be converted.

IndyMac Bancorp Inc. is facing its fourth class-action lawsuit this month.

The Brualdi Law Firm P.C. announced today it filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against the Pasadena, Calif.-based company on behalf of shareholder that purchased common stock between Aug. 16, 2007, and May 12, 2008. IndyMac is accused of misleading investors in violation of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Earlier this month, lawsuits against IndyMac were announced by Stull, Stull & Brody; Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP; and Schatz Nobel Izard P.C.

Community Bankshares Inc. and First Citizens Bank and Trust Company Inc. announced a merger agreement Thursday. Both boards of directors have approved the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval and the approval of Community shareholders.

The transaction, projected to close during the fourth quarter, calls for Community shareholders to receive $21 for each common share.

Community, which was founded more than 20 years ago as Orangeburg National Bank, is the parent of Community Resource Bank, N.A. First Citizens is owned by First Citizens Bancorporation Inc. Both companies operate in South Carolina.

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage has acquired Pride Mortgage LLP, a press release Wednesday said. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

New England-based Pride, founded in 1997 by President Brian Farley, reports it is licensed in nine states -- including California, Florida and New York -- and operates eight office locations. Wells reportedly operates 2,400 mortgage stores and bank branches and services 8 million mortgages.

One its Web site, Pride lists 21 loan originators, 15 support staff. Des Moines, Iowa-based Wells, which said it is the "No. 1 retail mortgage lender and servicer of home mortgages," indicated it will bring most of the Pride employees on board.

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

e-mail: [email protected]

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