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Optimal Blue Acquired

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A private-equity firm has struck a deal to acquire Optimal Blue Holdings and plans to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into the new business.

GTCR says it is a private-equity firm that invests in growth businesses, including those that are in the financial services and technology industry.

The Chicago-based company
disclosed Thursday that it formed a partnership to build a leading business in the mortgage technology industry.

At the helm of the partnership is Scott Happ, who will service as chief executive officer. Happ is also GTCR’s partner in the venture.

Sue Baker is being appointed vice president of product for the business.

Happ was the founder and previous CEO of Mortgagebot, where Baker served a senior vice president.

The announcement indicated that
an agreement was reached to acquire Optimal Blue, a product-and-pricing engine with more than 1,500 clients. Optimal Blue reportedly helps process approximately one-in-four U.S. mortgages originated.

“GTCR is partnering with new CEO Scott Happ to recapitalize the company and further invest in Optimal Blue’s growth,” the statement said. “GTCR has committed up to $350 million of equity capital to the investment to pursue growth initiatives at Optimal Blue as well as complementary acquisitions to provide information and other digital services to the $14 trillion mortgage marketplace.”

Larry Huff and Ivan Darius, who are the co-founders and co-CEOs of Plano, Texas-based Optimal Blue, will stay on as consultants, according to the news release. The remaining Optimal Blue management team will stay in place.

Aaron Cohen, managing director at GTCR, noted, “Our extensive experience in mortgage and financial technology provides GTCR with a differentiated perspective on the company and its opportunities going forward.”

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