Knight Capital Group Inc. has announced that it has agreed to acquire Urban Financial Group Inc., a privately-held, independent mortgage company. An originator of direct and brokered residential mortgage loans, Urban Financial is a major provider of home equity conversion mortgages (HECM), or reverse mortgages, in the U.S. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The acquisition will provide Knight's fixed income team with a captive new issue pipeline of HECM mortgage-backed securities (HMBS) for institutional clients. In addition, the integration of Urban Financial will allow Knight to realize a greater percentage of revenues from origination to distribution. "Urban Financial is a growing company with a solid product offering that originates loans nationwide through branch offices and independent brokers," said Thomas M. Joyce, chairman and chief executive officer of Knight Capital Group. "We're excited by the potential to establish a steady new issue pipeline that generates healthy revenues end-to-end. In particular, reverse mortgages packaged as HMBS are popular among institutions because of the attractive rates relative to the risks involved." Founded by Chief Executive Officer Bryan W. Hendershot in 2003, Urban Financial is a privately-held, independent mortgage company. The company is an originator of direct and brokered residential mortgage loans, including FHA-insured mortgages. Based in Tulsa, Okla., Urban Financial has 115 employees and branch offices in more than one dozen states. The company currently offers or purchases residential mortgage loans in more than two dozen states. "We're extremely pleased to join Knight as the enhanced capital will allow Urban Financial to increase origination activities and expand the product offering. We look forward to working with Knight's fixed income team to build HMBS issuance," said Hendershot. Knight's fixed-income team provides institutional clients with research, sales and trading across a broad range of securities that include high yield/distressed, investment grade/crossover, bank loans, hybrid securities, ABS/MBS, convertible bonds, municipals, taxable municipals and corporate/sovereign emerging markets debt. In addition, Knight offers capital markets services covering equity and debt securities. The closing of the acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. The acquisition is expected to be cash flow positive immediately following the close and accretive to earnings per share in 2010. Upon the close, Urban Financial will operate as a wholly-owned indirect operating subsidiary of Knight Capital Group. Urban Financial is an equal housing lender and a member of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA). The advisors to Knight on the transaction are Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Weiner Brodsky Sidman Kider PC. The advisors to Urban Financial are Pinkerton & Finn PC and Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP. For more information, visit www.knight.com.
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