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Small Bank Mergers Abundant

Small Bank Mergers Abundant

Recent mortgage-related mergers, acquisitions and corporate activity

March 20, 2006

By COCO SALAZAR

photo of Coco Salazar
Several recent banking mergers and acquisitions overshadowed a Canadian-based mortgage franchise operation’s entry into the United States.

In Glen Allen, Va., Saxon Capital Inc. announced it will restate financial statements for the first three quarters of 2005 and other periods dating all the way back to 2001 to eliminate the use of hedge accounting treatment, which it determined did not satisfy prescribed requirements for its derivative instruments.

Saxon also said it will ask the Securities and Exchange Commission for a 15-day extension to file its 2005 annual report on until the end of March.

Doral Financial Corp. announced Friday that its principal Puerto Rico banking subsidiary, Doral Bank, entered into consent orders with U.S. and Puerto Rican banking regulators to review Doral’s mortgage portfolios, and maintenance of capital adequacy and liquidity.

The consent orders, with the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Commissioner of Financial Institutions of Puerto Rico, arise out of the previously disclosed restatement of five year’s worth of Doral Financial’s financial statements to correct the accounting for certain mortgage loan sale transactions and the valuation of interest-only strips, according to the announcement.

Doral Bank, FSB, the company’s federal savings bank based in New York City, is not part of the orders.

Clayton Holdings Inc. will reportedly be offering 6.25 million shares of common stock for $15 to $17 per share. There is an option to purchase the shares within 30 days from the March 2 prospectus filing with the SEC.

Gaining more ground in Florida was Equus Resources Inc., which announced Friday it acquired a mortgage branch operation in Jacksonville that was part of a large multi-state mortgage company for the past five years.

Atlanta, Ga.-based Equus anticipates the acquired branch operation will originate over $60 million in residential mortgages over the next year.

MortgageBrokers.com Inc. said today it signed a letter of intent to acquire a privately held mortgage broker and banker based in New Jersey and licensed in seven states.

With an established footprint on the East Coast, the acquisition will give Canadian-based mortgage franchise operation a “critical point of entry” into the mortgage market, potentially bringing $400 million in mortgage origination volume and $6.2 million in gross revenues, MortgageBrokers.com Chief Executive Alex Haditaghi said.

CorpHQ Inc. said 50 percent of its portfolio company, South Bay Financial Solutions Inc., was recently purchased by Jeff Hoagland, “an accomplished veteran of the residential mortgage industry” who will also serve on South Bay’s board of directors and use his extensive retail and wholesale mortgage lending expertise to drive the growth of the company.

During the second quarter, First Banks Inc. will acquire Pittsfield Community Bancorp Inc., which has two banking offices located in Mount Sterling and Pittsfield, Ill., according to the companies’ joint announcement.

Following completion of the acquisition, First Bank will sell Pittsfield Community’s Mount Sterling banking office to Beardstown Savings s.b. First Bank will also consolidate its Pittsfield banking office into Pittsfield Community’s office located in the same area.

With the merger, Pittsfield Community customers will have a more extensive line of financial services, including mortgage banking services.

Mississippi-based NBC Capital Corp. said Thursday it agreed to acquire SunCoast Bancorp Inc. in a transaction valued at $34.8 million expected to close in the third quarter.

“SunCoast will be NBC’s first entry into Florida and will provide a solid base for future expansion,” as it provides “a great opportunity to build our loan portfolio in the fast-growing Gulf Coast markets in West Florida,” said Lewis F. Mallory Jr. in an announcement.

Under terms of the agreement, SunCoast Bank will reportedly change its name to Cadence Bank, a subsidiary of NBC, following the closing.

In Greensburg, Ind., today, MainSource Financial Group Inc. said it completed acquiring Union Community Bancorp and its subsidiary, Union Federal Savings and Loan Association.

The merger expands MainSource Financial Group’s presence in Indiana and also results in a name change for Union Federal to MainSource Bank — Crawfordsville.

Whitney Holding Corp. said it agreed to acquire First National Bancshares Inc. in a stock-and-cash transaction expected to close April 6 when First National shareholders vote on the takeover, according to a 10-K filing with SEC. The $120 million deal includes $42 million in cash and is one of the highest prices ever paid for a Florida bank, the Bradenton Herald reported.


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

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