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Bigger and BetterRecent mortgage mergers and acquisitions

August 8, 2005

By COCO SALAZAR

In the latest mergers and acquisitions, a mortgage broker was acquired and converted to a mortgage banker while a St. Louis lender gained market share.

WJ Bradley Merchant Partners recently acquired Triton Funding Group in all-cash deal that will allow Triton to break out of its broker shell, according to an announcement Monday.

Under the merger agreement, Triton’s senior management will reportedly remain in place to grow the company while Bradley “provides additional capital to expand production, open additional offices, and price more aggressively in an increasingly competitive California market,” the announcement said.

The San Francisco, Calif.-based acquired company, which is described in the announcement as a “$1 billion loan volume producing mortgage brokerage” will convert to a mortgage banker through integration with Bradley’s growing mortgage conglomerate,” according to the announcement.

The buying company is a subsidiary of Denver, Col.-based WJ. Bradley Co., reportedly a boutique financial services firm engaged exclusively in the small company residential mortgage sector that aims to give companies flexibility and range of services typically only made available to larger and more stable companies.

In St. Louis, Mo., DAS Acquisition Co., which does business as USA Mortgage, recently announced it purchased certain assets of West County Mortgage.

Due to the acquisition, West County will now be able to offer a larger variety of loan products and substantially lower rates, as well as a one-stop shop for home financing by utilizing USA Mortgage’s sister Companies, American Land Title and Red Eagle Appraisals, said Marge Gipperich, the former president of West County who will be a senior account executive for USA Mortgage, in the announcement.

Acquiring the staff of West County, which has closed between $25 and $50 million in residential loans in each of the last three years, “gives USA Mortgage the office needed in Eureka to properly service that fast-paced, growing market,” said DAS CEO and President Douglas A. Schukar in the announcement.

USA Mortgage, which closed more than $0.5 billion in loans in 2003, has reportedly been ranked one of the largest residential lenders in the St. Louis metropolitan area every year since its inception in early 2001.

Other industry transactions recently announced have included the creation of a wholesale lending division by The New York Mortgage Co. that will focus on generating adjustable-rate mortgages and Alt-A loans and the acquisition of online lender E-LOAN by Puerto Rican-based banker Popular Inc.


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

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