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Bank Acquisitions Funded by TARP

Recent mergers and acquisitions

December 26, 2008

By MortgageDaily.com staff

At least three institutions are in the process of using government bailout funds to make acquisitions. Among current merger activity is a transaction that closed last week, two that will close next week and two expected to close next year.

A little more than three-quarters of Wachovia Corp. shareholders Tuesday approved the acquisition of the Charlotte, N.C.-based firm by Wells Fargo & Co., according to an announcement. The deal, originally announced on Oct. 3, is expected to close next week.

In October, Wells issued $25 billion in fixed-rate cumulative perpetual preferred stock to the U.S. Department of the Treasury under the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

M&T Bank Corp. will acquire Provident Bankshares Corp., a news release last week said. The $401 million stock-for-stock transaction is expected to give M&T the second-largest deposit share in Maryland and boost its presence in Virginia. The deal -- projected to close in the second quarter of 2009 -- is subject to approval by regulators and Provident shareholders.

M&T said last month it had been approved for $600 million in TARP funds.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is on the verge of announcing a deal to sell IndyMac Federal Bank FSB, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday. The FDIC became receiver of the Pasadena, Calif.-based thrift when it was shut down by the Office of Thrift Supervision in July.

Wintrust Financial Corp. said Tuesday that it acquired some of the assets of Professional Mortgage Partners. The transaction, which included the assumption of some of Professional's liabilities, is expected to boost Wintrust's presence in the greater Chicago metropolitan area.

The acquisition of Professional increased Lake Forest, Ill.-based Wintrust's headcount by 180 to 500 employees while increasing the number of branches by 10 to 27 retail offices, a press release said. Downers Grove, Ill.-based Professional reportedly originated $1.6 billion this year. Combined production at the merged entity is around $3 billion annually.

Wintrust, which was approved last month to access $250 million in TARP funds, reports $10 billion in assets.

Municipal Mortgage & Equity LLC said Monday that is has agreed to sell its agency loan operations to Oak Grove Commercial Mortgage LLC. The deal first called for MuniMae to receive a $10 million bridge loan -- which was funded on Dec. 18. Once the transaction closes, MuniMae will receive $24 million in a combination of cash and loan forgiveness, and it will retain a $47 million preferred interest in Oak Grove.

Shareholders of Hampton Roads Bankshares Inc. and Gateway Financial Holdings Inc. have approved an agreement for Hampton to acquire Gateway. The two Virginia-based institutions expect to close on the acquisition on Dec. 31.

Gateway reported in September that it was stung on its $40 million in preferred investments in the government sponsored housing enterprises and was scrambling to raise capital.

Ocwen Solutions will be spun off to Ocwen Financial Corp. shareholders, an announcement last week said. The transaction, which is projected to close in the second quarter of next year, is expected to alleviate concerns that prospective customers might have dealing with an affiliate of a competing servicer.

Fidelity National Financial Inc. completed its acquisition of Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Co. and Lawyers Title Insurance Corp. from LandAmerica Financial Group Inc. for a revised $370 million, a statement Monday said. LandAmerica is operating under bankruptcy protection.

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