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Net Branch Deals Going Down

Net Branch Deals Going Down

Mortgage industry mergers, acquisitions and corporate activity

February 13, 2006

By COCO SALAZAR

photo of Coco Salazar
The latest mortgage-industry mergers, acquisitions and other corporate transactions were dominated by net branch companies.

But first, Securian Financial Group Inc. said it plans to buy CNL Financial Corp. from OneAmerica Financial Partners Inc. for an undisclosed amount on April 1.

The purchase of the Macon, Ga.-based manufacturer and distributor of loan protection products, such as mortgage life, “fits our strategic goal of building our financial institutions business through acquisition and increased distribution,” Minnesota-based Securian said in an announcement.

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it approved for Banco Popular Español, S.A., Madrid, Spain, to establish a representative office in Miami, Fla. that will serve as a liaison between existing and potential customers in Spain and the United States and will promote the bank’s services to potential U.S. and Latin America customers, among other purposes.

Banco Popular is reportedly the lead bank of the third-largest commercial banking group in Spain and provides home financing among its services. It has a network of branches in Spain, Portugal and France, and has representative offices in Asia, Latin America, Canada, and other areas of Europe, the Fed said.

Clayton Holdings Inc. announced it acquired Mortgage Resource Network. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Clayton, “well-known to the capital markets for its loan analysis, consulting and outsourcing services that are critical to pre-purchase due diligence and post-securitization bond surveillance,” will leverage Mortgage Resource’s outsource services for mortgage origination support and pre-close due diligence, as well as its relationships, according to the announcement.

In Philadelphia, Penn., real estate investment trust Resource Capital Corp. announced it priced its initial public offering of 4 million shares of its common stock, including approximately 1.9 million shares sold by the selling stockholders, at $15.00 each. The shares were scheduled to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Feb. 7.

Resource said the underwriters, Credit Suisse, Friedman Billings Ramsey, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan, Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc., Piper Jaffray and Flagstone Securities, are granted an overallotment option for an additional 600,000 shares of common stock, exercisable within 30 days of the Feb. 6 announcement.

The Loan Source LLC, a privately owned, Florida-based mortgage lender, recently merged with Consolidated American Industries Corp., according to a press release.

The Loan Source will be a mortgage branch network company with its primary concentration in Florida, New Jersey and New York, and will initially add seven branches, “ranging from 1.5 million to 10 million in monthly loan originations,” said Consolidated, which reportedly is Nevada public corporation, with principal offices located in Tampa, Fla.

Another mortgage player that recently expanded in Florida, with acquisition of Gateway Mortgage Bankers of Miami, is Summit Mortgage LLC.

Summit, Boston, Mass., said Gateway’s office, which already carries the Summit name, gives it a direct presence for the first time in Florida’s most populous city, expanding its number of offices in the Sunshine State to three.

Gateway’s sole stockholder, Ela Sanchez, reportedly joined Summit’s staff and is originating all of the firm’s residential mortgage business on behalf of Summit.

In Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Paragon Financial Corp. recently announced it agreed to acquire Las Vegas, Nev.-based Shearson Home Loans Inc. from Consumer Direct of America Inc.

Shearson is reportedly is a consolidator of independent mortgage brokerages, employs over 300 people, and had closed-loan volume of $1.1 billion in 2004.

“We view Shearson as an ideal partner in our quest to consolidate the mortgage brokerage industry,” Paragon said in the announcement.


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

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