Caliber Home Loans Inc. has announced the acquisition of Cobalt Mortgage, one of the largest privately-owned distributed retail mortgage lenders in the U.S. The combined entity will create one of the largest independent mortgage companies in the country. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed and the transaction is expected to close in early November of 2014. Through this combination, Caliber expands its sales force and nearly doubles the size of its branch retail lending business. The transaction also enhances Caliber's geographic footprint and provides entrance points into new markets, including the highly-attractive Pacific Northwest region.
"Caliber and Cobalt share a common vision that real estate is local and that Realtors and Builders continue to play pivotal roles in helping consumers achieve homeownership," said Joe Anderson, chief executive officer of Caliber. "We are excited to partner with one of the strongest and most well-respected retail branch networks in the country. Throughout its long history of solid-performance, Cobalt has established an outstanding reputation for growing purchase volume and is well-respected for its disciplined approach to governance. We look forward to welcoming the talented Cobalt team to the Caliber family and to working together to better meet the unique financing needs of homeowners, builders and realtors across the country."
As part of the transaction, Keith Tibbles and Ernie Gehre will continue to lead the Cobalt Division of Caliber. Tibbles will also be appointed executive vice president of Caliber and assigned to the company's executive leadership committee where he will play an active role in the operations, financing, governance and strategic direction of Caliber. Gehre will continue to oversee the sales organization of the Cobalt Division of Caliber.
"We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Caliber to combine two great companies," said Cobalt co-founders Tibbles and Gehre. "Caliber's strong balance sheet and direct access to capital markets will not only provide Cobalt with the ability to retain the servicing rights on the loans it originates, but also offer our customers a broader suite of mortgage lending solutions better tailored to fit individual needs. Through this combination, we will also gain significant scale, granting us better access to the secondary markets. We are extremely confident in the benefits of this partnership and look forward to participating in the future success of the combined company."