Tree.com Inc., the parent company of LendingTree LLC, has announced that its subsidiary, LendingTree Loans, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire assets of Louisville, Ky.-based SurePoint Lending, a d/b/a of First Residential Mortgage Network Inc. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011, with terms subject to various closing conditions. A LendingTree network lender for 11 years, SurePoint has originated more than $10 billion in closed loans since inception and was named the number one refinance lender on the LendingTree network in 2009. Headquartered in Louisville, Ky., SurePoint has nearly 500 employees, including more than 300 licensed loan officers, and operates branch locations in Nashville, Tenn.; Tampa and Indianapolis. “SurePoint’s history on the LendingTree network and commitment to customer satisfaction make them exactly the right partner to help us scale and grow share at LendingTree Loans,” said Doug Lebda, chairman and chief executive officer of Tree.com. “Saul and Jordan Pohn have done a great job building a profitable business and a talented team, and we’re thrilled to welcome them to the Tree.com family. This acquisition is a key component of our aggressive growth strategy for LendingTree Loans, which also includes expanding our team of loan officers headquartered in Irvine, Calif., increasing our marketing spend, and continuing to invest in process and technology to meet both regulatory requirements and our customers’ needs.” Tree.com will pay SurePoint shareholders an aggregate purchase price of $6 million in cash and contingent consideration up to an aggregate additional $17 million pursuant to earn out provisions over the next three years. Tree.com was advised in the transaction by Petsky Prunier LLC. “We’re excited to formally join LendingTree Loans and are confident this move will enable us to expand our lending footprint and grow share,” said Saul Pohn, principal and president of SurePoint Lending. “Our business has been built on a commitment to providing competitive rates and excellent customer service, and we look forward to leveraging the LendingTree brand and fulfilling on the LendingTree mission of helping customers make smart loan decisions." For more information, visit www.tree.com.