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Mortgage Industry Transactions

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Mortgage Industry TransactionsRecent mergers, acquisitions and corporate transactions

August 1, 2005

By COCO SALAZAR

Two recent acquisitions and a public stock offering make up this week’s coverage of acquisitions and corporate transactions.

1st Priority Mortgage Inc. announced it acquired Pace Funding Co. of Ithaca, N.Y.

Pace, which is reportedly the second leading originator in the Ithaca market, will operate under the acquiring company’s name.

“We are committed to making the home buying experience a streamlined, positive and productive experience,” said Merle Whitehead, CEO of 1st Priority’s parent, RealtyUSA, in the announcement.

In Lancaster, Penn., Fulton Financial Corp. announced it will purchase Columbia Bancorp in a $313 million deal expected to close in the first quarter 2006.

Fulton, which funds residential loans through Fulton Mortgage Company and Resource Mortgage, said the market area of The Columbia Bank, the sole banking subsidiary of Columbia Bancorp, is geographically central to its existing franchise in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.

Under the merger, Columbia Bancorp will retain its name, board and employees and have the ability to leverage the size and strength of Fulton Financial, according to John M. Bond Jr., chairman and CEO of Columbia Bancorp, which operates 19 full-service community banking offices versus Fulton’s 232 banking offices.

In Melville, N.Y., American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. announced Thursday that it commenced a proposed offering of 9 million shares of its common stock and has granted the underwriters an option to purchase up to 1.35 million additional shares to cover any possible over-allotments.

The common stock offerings are pursuant to the real estate investment trust’s shelf registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to the announcement.

American Home says it originates mortgages through loan production offices, brokers and correspondents, and has servicing operations in Irving, Texas.

TPG-Axon Capital Management recently made a $100 million investment into ResMAE Financial Corp., according to an announcement Thursday.

TPG said it invested in the wholesale specialty originator and servicer because it believes ResMAE will “experience significant growth in coming years as management continues to build on its track-record of creating stakeholder value.”

ResMAE, which aims to expand its national footprint and develop a portfolio of loans exceeding $1 billion, said TPG’s “infusion of capital into our organization will give us the power to continue to compete effectively in the marketplace and it will substantially enhance the company’s value with diversified earnings capabilities.”


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

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