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GTCR has announced that it has formed a partnership with mortgage technology executive Scott Happ to build a leading business, through the acquisition of Optimal Blue Holdings, a cloud-based software as a services (SaaS) provider. Optimal Blue, headquartered in Plano, Texas, provides leading managed-content, enterprise lending services to mortgage originators and investors. GTCR is partnering with new CEO Happ to recapitalize the company and further invest in Optimal Blue's growth. 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.
GTCR will work with Happ, Sue Baker and Optimal Blue's existing management team to expand the company's strong network offerings and further invest in its technology. Happ, founder and former CEO of Mortgagebot, will join the company as chief executive officer at close. Baker, a former senior vice president at Mortgagebot will join Scott as vice president of product. Founders and current co-CEOs Larry Huff and Ivan Darius will remain involved with Optimal Blue as consultants; the remainder of the management team will stay in place.
"GTCR's investment behind Optimal Blue is a testament to the strength of the business that management and employees have developed over many years," said Happ. "I am excited to join such a talented team and look forward to growing the franchise."
"We are thrilled to have entered into an agreement to acquire Optimal Blue, and would like to thank Larry and Ivan for building such an innovative business. Our extensive experience in mortgage and financial technology provides GTCR with a differentiated perspective on the Company and its opportunities going forward," said Aaron Cohen, managing director at GTCR.
"Optimal Blue's extensive network of investors and originators within the mortgage industry presents a platform off which to deliver more information and services," said Collin Roche, managing director at GTCR. "We look forward to supporting Scott Happ and the management team's efforts to drive product expansion, both organically and through acquisition."