APR 11, 2012 6:38pm ET

CoreLogic Sells Its Stake in Ellie Mae's Stock

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Data, analytics and technology firm CoreLogic sold off its 12.3% stake in loan origination system vendor Ellie Mae, according to Securities and Exchange Commission disclosures.

At the time of Ellie Mae’s April 2011 initial public offering, Santa Ana, Calif.-based CoreLogic was its largest stockholder, holding more than 2.5 million shares of the Pleasanton, Calif.-based company’s common stock. Sunday marks the one-year anniversary when shares of Ellie Mae stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

The relationship between Ellie Mae and CoreLogic dates back to 2000, when First American began negotiating a deal to sell the Contour LOS to Ellie Mae. The $30 million deal closed in February 2001 and included an investment stake in Ellie Mae. Contour, along with another LOS, Genesis, served as the underlying technology behind the first version of Ellie’s flagship LOS, Encompass. CoreLogic was later spun off from First American as its own publicly traded company in June 2010, taking the stake in Ellie Mae along with it.

For Ellie Mae, the deal—which occurred in an arranged “block sale,” as opposed to on the open market—dilutes the amount of influence a single shareholder can exert on the company and removes an industry player from its ownership ranks. For CoreLogic, the sale helped free up cash for the company, though the deal is a minor blimp compared to its own market capitalization of $1.64 billion.

According to an SEC disclosure filed in February, CoreLogic sold its shares in November and December and as of Dec. 31, no longer held a stake in the company. A second SEC disclosure reports that CoreLogic sold 1.15 million shares of Ellie Mae stock on November 10 and 11 for $5.25 per share, or $6.04 million—a trade that came about a month after the end of the lock-up period that prevents pre-IPO stockholders from trading shares during the first 180 days of a company going public.

Since reporting in March that it beat its full-year 2011 revenue and income estimates, Ellie Mae has seen its stock price trade above $10 per share for four weeks. The stock briefly reached an all-time high of $11.31 during trading Wednesday, before closing at $11.27 per share—a new record for Ellie Mae.

“CoreLogic was a good long term-investor and continues to be a good partner on our platform,” said Jonathan Corr, Ellie Mae’s chief operating officer.

A CoreLogic spokesperson declined to comment.

Ellie Mae wasn’t CoreLogic’s only LOS investment. It held a 38% stake in LOS vendor Dorado, before purchasing the company’s remaining equity in March 2011.

The decision to sell off its stake in Ellie Mae comes at a turbulent time for CoreLogic. In August, CoreLogic said it hired an advisory firm to explore a possible sale or merger. Then, after suspending that strategic review and posting a $66.5 million annual loss, CoreLogic’s largest shareholder publicly called for a management shakeup. Still, there are some signs of business improving at CoreLogic, the result of improving market conditions and a series of cost-cutting and business consolidation measures like the stock sale.

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