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Banking, Mortgage M&A

Banking, Mortgage M&A

Recent mergers, acquisitions and corporate activity

July 17, 2006

By COCO SALAZAR

photo of Coco Salazar
Two mortgage companies have undergone name changes while three technology units are being divested.

In Paramus, N.J., Hudson City Bancorp Inc. announced it completed acquiring Sound Federal Bancorp Inc. presenting an aggregate transaction value of approximately $265 million.

The reported deal, which was first announced in February and valued at $265 million, merged Sound Federal into Hudson City Savings Bank.

Hudson said the acquisition marks its entry into the high-income suburban counties served by Sound Federal.

Missouri-based First Bank announced it will purchase three of the nine Illinois banking offices of MidAmerica National Bank.

The transaction is expected to be completed next quarter, First Bank said.

Meanwhile, Allied Home Mortgage Capital Corp., which claims it is the country’s largest privately-held mortgage banker/broker, opened a new branch in McAllen, Texas.

The new location represents the 32nd opening reported so far in the year.

JSSmith Mortgage announced it created a joint venture with a 2000-agent Arizona real estate firm. The 6-month-old Scottsdale-based startup will operate the new venture as TLC Mortgage LLC.

Privately held real estate brokerage Long & Foste recently acquired North Carolina-based Fonville Morisey Realty and, with it, the mortgage unit FM Lending Services, according to a press release.

NovaStar Capital Corp. recently changed its name to WarehouseUSA Capital Corp. “to better reflect its growing business and market coverage,” parent company NovaStar Financial Inc. announced Wednesday.

The warehouse lending unit, which reportedly serves 110 lenders, also has a new Web site.

“The WarehouseUSA name and ‘look’ point to the experience and old-fashioned service we provide our business partners,” a WarehouseUSA executive said in the statement.

Fortress Investment Group LLC closed on the acquisition of Centex Home Equity Tuesday, netting Centex Corp. $540 million or more depending on origination volume during the next two years, according to an announcement. The unit changed its name Wednesday to Nationstar Mortgage LLC.

“All of our 2,200 employees will continue to offer the same exceptional level of service that has enabled us to help more than 250,000 customers since 1997,” said Anthony H. Barone, Nationstar president and chief executive, in an announcement.

Nationstar says it is the eighth largest retail nonprime lender in the nation and is licensed in 47 states.

ChoicePoint announced it will divest ChoicePoint Precision Marketing, with 671 employees across seven states. In addition, The Bode Technology Group, with 94 employees in Virginia, and EquiSearch, with 38 employees in White Plains, N.Y., will all be put on the block.

“Over time, we have transformed our company from a labor-intensive data business to a provider of information- based technology tools that help customers make decisions,” said ChoicePoint Chairman and CEO Derek V. Smith. “Going forward, we will focus on products and services that help customers manage the decision process to reduce economic and physical risks.”


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

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