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loanDepot LLC has announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Mortgage Master Inc., a super-regional mortgage lender and one of the country's largest privately-owned mortgage companies. Both companies' combined retail loan funding volume in October 2014 was $1.75 billion with nearly $70 million in top-line revenue. Upon closing, the loanDepot brands as a combined company will operate 130 retail lending branches across the country, four Web production centers, and employ 3,700 full-time associates including more than 1,200 licensed loan officers serving borrowers in all 50 states. The transaction between loanDepot and Mortgage Master is expected to close in early 2015 subject to regulatory approvals.
The combined company will maintain and operate the loanDepot.com, imortgage, and Mortgage Master consumer brands, offering borrowers across the country vital access to the financing, information and expertise they need to pursue their lending needs. The LDWholesale brand will continue helping brokers grow their businesses by delivering competitively-priced products with high-touch, high-tech service.
"By welcoming our colleagues at Mortgage Master to loanDepot, we are creating a very powerful and exciting opportunity for the organization, consumers, and our employees," said Anthony Hsieh, chairman and chief executive officer of loanDepot LLC. "Our business models, our cultures, and our product offerings are highly complementary. The combined company will position us to accelerate our expansion in the northeast while continuing to build our national consumer lending businesses offering both mortgage and nonmortgage lending products."
As part of the agreement, Mortgage Master's Founder and CEO Leif Thomsen and President Paul Anastos will continue to lead the Mortgage Master brand.
"We are extremely excited to join the loanDepot team," said Thomsen. "Our goal was to position Mortgage Master so we could continue offering the best programs at the best prices, while delivering more innovative products, marketing services and technology resources for our employees to ensure best-in-class services to borrowers. This partnership empowers us to do this while creating substantial growth opportunity for the Mortgage Master brand. We are looking forward to working alongside the great leadership throughout loanDepot and working towards a shared vision on the future of the business. This is the most excited I've been about our Company in a very long time!"
Established in 1988, Mortgage Master is one of the largest independent nonbank retail lenders in the northeast region employing 700 lending professionals that includes 300 licensed loan officers operating from 44 branches in 14 states. Mortgage Master assisted more than 19,000 borrowers in 26 states, and funded more than $6.2 billion in retail home loans in 2013.
loanDepot LLC, has consistently doubled the company's loan originations annually since its inception in 2010, increasing funding volume by 146 percent in the past two years. The acquisition of Mortgage Master is expected to fuel further growth of loanDepot's enterprise-level retail branch strategy and coast-to-coast reach while complementing the company's online direct-lending business of both home and personal loan products.
In November 2013, loanDepot, LLC started operating imortgage, a leading retail lending platform and division of loanDepot, LLC with 85-plus branch locations focused in the western U.S. The resulting retail-branch lending platform has grown 30 percent since joining loanDepot LLC, and immediately delivered a complementary balance of high-touch retail branch locations with loanDepot's high-tech Web-center business model.
"We chose to join loanDepot because we were impressed by the strength and experience of their management team who shared like-minded goals," said Anastos. "Our primary objective for Mortgage Master was finding a partner who had similar beliefs on how best to grow our business with a culture that matched our own. In fact, our planning leading up to the announcement focused as much on cultural integration as the obvious financial benefits and stability of our combined businesses. We are truly excited about the opportunities this presents for our employees and customers."