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Consolidation Reigns

Consolidation ReignsRecent merger and acquisition activity

September 19, 2005

By COCO SALAZAR

 

Banking, commercial and technological companies top the latest list of mergers and acquisitions.

In Billerica, Mass., McCracken Financial Software announced Wednesday that it acquired DealCentral, commercial loan origination solution from MortgageRamp.

“The commercial finance industry has been asking for a robust, single-vendor solution that can manage the entire loan lifecycle,” said Noel Webster, president of Massachusetts-based McCracken, in an announcement. “Now they have one.”

McCracken will integrate DealCentral with its Strategy commercial loan servicing solution, “speeding the flow of information and eliminating the costs of duplicate data entry,” according to the announcement.

In St. Petersburg, Fla., First Advantage Corp. recently said that it acquired the credit information group of First American Corp. in an all-stock transaction.

“The acquisition of (the credit information group) immediately adds significant scale and depth of leadership to our business,” stated First Advantage CEO John Long in a press release. “We will continue to aggressively advance our growth strategy, and I am confident that First Advantage will emerge as a solid leader in the business information marketplace.”

Under terms of the merger, First American and its First American Real Estate Solutions joint venture contributed their mortgage, automotive, consumer and subprime credit businesses to First Advantage, the announcement said. As a result, First American, which was already First Advantage’s largest shareholder.

The two companies will each have a distinct focus with First American continuing as the leading provider of real estate information, and First Advantage providing business information and related services.

FNB Corp. has agreed to acquire Integrity Financial Corp. for $123.9 million in a deal expected to close during the second quarter of next year, according to a joint announcement today.

North Carolina-based FNB announced in May it would acquire United Financial Inc.

Today’s announcement noted the merged entities will operate under a new bank holding company to be known as FNB United Corp.

“We believe that combining our franchises will enable us to take advantage of significant growth opportunities and to serve some of the greatest markets in North Carolina,” said FNB Chairman and CEO Michael C. Miller.

Liberty Bank recently announced it acquired Mortgage One and doubled the size of its mortgage operations.

“We intend to capitalize on the strengths of both organizations with a goal of being the number one mortgage lender in southwest Missouri,” said Liberty President Gary Metzger in the announcement.

Springfield, Mo.-based Liberty Bank, which has 13 locations statewide, said the mortgage division will merge with Mortgage One under the name Liberty Mortgage.

Mortgage One founder Michael Frerking will be president of the newly expanded operation.


Coco Salazar is an assistant editor and staff writer for MortgageDaily.com.E-mail: s3celeste@aol.com

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