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Banks Dominate M&As

Banks Dominate M&As

Recent mortgage mergers, acquisitions & corporate activity

October 10, 2006

By COCO SALAZAR

photo of Coco Salazar
Banks were buzzing with activity during the latest week.

But first, the American Mortgage Law Group was launched last week, according to an announcement. The national law firm will focus on the mortgage industry and is made up of former Lanahan & Reilly employees.

Financial trade group AFSA, whose members include mortgage lenders, named Christopher S. Stinebert president and chief executive, starting Nov. 1, according to an announcement. Stinebert replaces retiring president, Randy Lively.

BankUnited Financial Corp. issued a press release in response to “a highly erroneous” report issued regarding participation in certain August 2005 loan syndications to EH/Transeastern in Broward County, Fla. The loan syndications to approximately 40 lenders totaled $675 million.

“BankUnited’s total outstanding participation balance in senior secured loans is $14 million to EH/Transeastern,” BankUnited said. “At this time BankUnited anticipates no loss on these loans.

“In addition, BankUnited has a $3 million participation in a senior mezzanine loan to this entity. At this time BankUnited anticipates no significant loss on this loan.”

NetBank announced it would give its former chief executive and chairman, Douglas K. Freeman, a lump sum payment of $2.9 million plus any unpaid base salary due and owing as of Oct. 5, the day of his resignation and in which he was replaced by Steven F. Herbert and Thomas H. Muller Jr.

Among other things, within the next two years, Freeman cannot accept a job with or solicit business for a competitive enterprise without prior approval from NetBank, or refrain any consumer to do business with or resign from NetBank, according to the announcement.

First BanCorp said it received an extension for continued listing and trading on the New York Stock Exchange through April 3, 2007. By that date, if First has not filed its 2005 annual report on Form 10-K, NYSE will move forward with the initiation of suspension and delisting procedures.

Community Bankshares Inc. announced the consolidation of its four banks will on Tuesday result in Florence National Bank, Sumter National Bank and Bank of Ridgeway joining their affiliate bank in Orangeburg, S.C. under the name Community Resource Bank N.A. Michael A. Wolfe has been appointed to serve as president of the new bank and be responsible for all general banking and mortgage activities, the announcement said.

ViewPoint Bank announced its members approved a restructuring plan and stock issuance for it to convert into a mutual holding company, a move that will allow expansion and growth in offering new products, services and locations. As a result, the bank will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of ViewPoint Financial Group, which itself will be a majority-owned subsidiary of ViewPoint MHC.

New Mexico-based First State Bancorporation will acquire Colorado-based Front Range Capital Corp. for $72 million. The transaction, expected to close in next quarter, will fill First State’s footprint in Northern Colorado, according to a press release.

JPMorgan Chase recently reported it completed its purchase of The Bank of New York Company’s consumer, small-business and middle-market banking businesses. In spring of 2007, the 339 Bank of New York branches will reportedly convert to the Chase platform and brand.

PNC Financial Services Group Inc. has agreed to buy Mercantile Bankshares Corp. in $6 billion stock-and-cash transaction that will enable PNC to significantly expand its presence in the Mid- Atlantic region, particularly the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., markets, according to an announcement Monday.

Allied Home Mortgage Capital Corp. recently said it opened a branch in Naperville, Ill., which reportedly brings the number of branches opened so far this year to 41.

In Sacramento, Calif., mortgage brokerage America’s Lending Partners Inc. announced it launched a new division where certified mortgage planners with extensive training help borrowers analyze their finances and financial goals.


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

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