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Several Banking, Mortgage Technology Deals

Several Banking, Mortgage Technology Deals

Recent mergers, acquisitions and other corporate activity

January 16, 2006

By COCO SALAZAR

photo of Coco Salazar
Two technology transactions topped this week’s coverage of mortgage mergers, acquisitions and corporate activity.

At the start of January, Virginia-based Saxon Capital Inc. began conducting its retail business under a new trade name, Saxon Home Mortgage, according to an announcement.

Saxon Home, a nonconforming originator, is reportedly the result of merging subsidiary America’s MoneyLine Inc. into Saxon Mortgage Inc., which remained as the successor company.

The new name and operating platform, “an important step in the company’s continuing effort to restructure its direct-to-consumer lending platform,” will compliment the existing indirect origination channels while allowing operations to continue under the Saxon brand, the announcement said.

Summit Financial Group Inc. announced a pretax $1.5 million impairment charge for the fourth quarter related to $5.7 million preferred stock issuances of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

Summit said it took the charge “primarily due to difficulty in accurately projecting the future recovery period of these securities.”

Despite the charge, Summit reportedly anticipates earnings for 2005 will surpass the previous year’s.

In Springfield, Mo., National Bank of Kansas City recently opened a new mortgage-lending office that created eight jobs, bank spokeswoman Krista Spencer told MortgageDaily.com.

The addition represents National Bank’s seventh mortgage facility and the fourth in Missouri, according to its Web site.

The new office of National Bank — Mortgage Division is the first venture in to southwest Missouri and has five loan officers.

Penn Bancshares recently received an approval order by the Federal Reserve Board to acquire almost 25 percent of the voting shares of Harvest Community Bank. The transaction must be consummated this quarter, according to the Fed’s order.

While Penn’s level of community service and community lending was criticized by several commenters, the Fed said Penn ranked second out of 243 peer lenders in originating home mortgage loans and that examiners noted no evidence of illegal discrimination or credit practices.

Shareholders of TD Banknorth Inc. and Hudson United Bancorp approved the merger of the two companies, according to a press release Tuesday.

The acquisition of Hudson, expected to close within this quarter, is consistent with TD’s growth strategy into the mid-Atlantic region and will broaden the menu of products for Hudson customers, according to the announcement.

Prior to shareholder approval, TD announced a balance sheet restructuring program to sell $2.6 billion in mortgage-backed securities in connection with the pending merger that will result in a $45 million pretax charge in the fourth quarter. The proceeds of the sale, which will reduce the earnings volatility inherent in MBS as a result of prepayments and call features, will be reinvested into “shorter-duration assets.”

“In the current interest rate environment, these actions mitigate our interest rate risk going forward,” said William J. Ryan, TD chairman, president and CEO, in a statement.

TD reportedly expects to sell $2.7 billion of investment securities acquired from Hudson and use the proceeds to repay an equal amount of borrowings.

First State Bancorporation recently announced it completed acquiring New Mexico Financial Corp. The completion strengthens First’s operations in New Mexico.

New Mexico Financial subsidiary Ranchers Banks will reportedly operate under and with the name of First Community Bank.

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd., an information solutions provider, recently announced it acquired privately-held MindBox LLC., a decision solutions provider for the mortgage industry.

While the acquisition is expected to significantly expand MacDonald’s presence in the U.S. lender market, the merger will give MindBox an opportunity to apply its decision capabilities to the insurance sector and potentially other markets, according to the announcement.

On Friday, private mortgage insurer Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp. said it acquired Myers Internet Inc.

“Myers is the top provider of websites for mortgage brokers in the mortgage industry,” said Curt S. Culver, chairman and CEO of the insurer, in a statement.

Myers, a MortgageDaily.com advertiser, will reportedly operate as a separate, wholly-owned entity.


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

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