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Mergers and Boardroom Business

Mergers and Boardroom Business

Recent mortgage related M&A, corporate activity

May 25, 2007

By COCO SALAZAR

photo of Coco Salazar
Deals involving reverse and commercial mortgage companies complimented a host of banking mergers.

Dover Mortgage Company appointed Harvey W. Goldberg as president after its former president and founder, W. Edward Joye, resigned at the end of March, parent company FNB United Corp. reported.

Fannie Mae announced Louis J. Freeh, a former director of the FBI, was elected to its board of directors and will serve on the compliance and compensation committees.

Effective June 4, First National Bank and Trust Co., including its divisions Catawba Valley Bank, First Gaston Bank and Northwestern Bank of Wilkesboro, will change its name to CommunityONE Bank N.A. The name change is the result of “great growth” in recent years by acquisition, parent FNB United Corp. announced.

American Home Bank announced the creation of Modular Total Control, a mortgage joint venture program through which manufacturers, dealers and builders in the systems-built industry can offer customized and self-branded financing packages to consumers.

In Houston, Texas, Franklin Bank Corp. said it has initiated discussions to issue and sell $15 million in common stock to a limited number of its officers, directors and stockholders.

In a meeting in Maryland on Tuesday, Fieldstone Investment Corp.’s stockholders approved for the company to be acquired by a subsidiary of Credit-Based Asset Servicing, according to an announcement. The transaction is expected to close by this quarter’s end.

At separate meetings on Thursday, the respective shareholders of The Bank of New York Company Inc. and Mellon Financial Corp. approved the proposed merger of the two companies, which is anticipated to close early in the third quarter and create a leading securities servicer under the name The Bank of New York Mellon Corp.

Through its India-based parent, ISGN, Pennsylvania-based MortgageHub acquired Dynatek, a U.S.-based provider of mortgage automation software for retail and wholesale lenders, according to an announcement. The merger gives ISGN “considerable penetration into the industry’s mid-market, and has added another significant asset in-line with its overall strategy of becoming the industry’s technology and service leader.”

EverBank announced it will acquire NetBank Inc.’s direct banking and small business financing divisions and mortgage servicing portfolio. NetBank, which expects a loss on sale of between $60 and $70 million at the transaction’s close expected at June’s end, noted the deal follows large operating losses it has experienced due to the difficult mortgage origination market and other financial pressures that have significantly reduced its capital position and prompted heightened regulatory oversight.

In an announcement Tuesday, Fremont General Corp. said it will sell its commercial real estate lending business and outstanding loan portfolio to iStar Financial Inc. and that it will sell a minority interest — approximately $80 million in exchangeable non-cumulative preferred stock and warrants to acquire additional common stock — to an investor group led by Gerald J. Ford, who will become chairman of Fremont. Additionally, Carl B. Webb and Randy J. Staff will become CEO and chief financial officer, respectively.

Mercantile Bancorp Inc. agreed Thursday to divest its 36.4 percent equity interest in New Frontier Bancshares Inc. to privately owned T&C Bancorp Inc. for $6.8 million in cash, according to a press release. Among the reasons Mercantile cited for the sale was that its pending acquisition of HNB Financial Services Inc. has an established location in the same area served by New Frontier, making it “inappropriate to maintain a minority interest in an institution that competes with a bank we expect to wholly own.”

BOK Financial will acquire First Unit Bank N.A. for $43 million and integrate it into subsidiary Colorado State Bank and Trust N.A., which will greatly expand its Denver-area market presence through the deal, according to an announcement.

Virgin USA recently acquired a majority stake in CircleLending, which pioneered the business of managing loans between relatives and friends, according to an announcement. Virgin said the acquisition is consistent with its focus on develop fresh approaches to consumer issues, adding that CircleLending offers alternatives increasingly self-directed, empowered consumers seek.

Georgia-based Synovus announced it will merge First Nation Bank and Peachtree National Bank into Bank of North Georgia. Synovus said one of the key benefits of merging three of its banks under the Bank of North Georgia name is that it will be able to share talent across its Atlanta footprint and enhance its products and services.

Fifth Third Bancorp will pay $288 million to purchase R-G Financial’s R-G Crown Bank and assume $50 million of Trust Preferred securities. The transaction, expected to close in the fourth quarter, will expand Fifth Third’s presence in Florida and Georgia.

Impac Funding Corp. agreed to acquire certain assets comprising the retail and wholesale lending platform of Pinnacle Financial Corp. in a deal expected to go through at month’s end that will create Impac Home Lending, parent Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. announced. The acquisition is a critical step to strategically diversify Impac’s Alt-A correspondent and wholesale lending franchise, and it will immediately give Impac a national retail lending platform through which it will deploy FHA and reverse mortgages.


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