EverBank Buys Servicing, Other Assets from NetBank

EverBank, one of the nation's largest privately held financial services companies, has agreed to buy NetBank's mortgage servicing portfolio and other assets in a deal that will give EverBank $7 billion in assets and $6 billion in deposits.

In addition, the deal gives EverBank over 550,000 customers.

EverBank is acquiring NetBank's direct banking and small business financing divisions in addition to the mortgage servicing portfolio. It is also acquiring rights to the NetBank brand, a move that pretty much finishes off NetBank as an operation under its current ownership and management.

EverBank said the acquisition will expand its national online banking presence, increase its asset growth capabilities and add depth to its mortgage servicing operation.

"This transaction is consistent with our ongoing strategy of leveraging our scalable platforms in our core businesses to deliver unique, high-value products to customers nationwide," said Rob Clements, CEO and chairman of EverBank, in a news release.

EverBank noted that earlier this year it expanded its reverse mortgage lending and servicing capacity through the purchase and repositioning of BNY Mortgage Co. The bank also acquired Apartment Lending Group to expand its commercial real estate lending business earlier in the year.

Blake Wilson, EverBank's chief financial officer, said the three major acquisitions this year emphasize the company's commitment to building a model of delivering innovative financial services "through a wide array of channels and partners."

"The NetBank acquisition is another important milestone in our strategic transformation into a high-performing, fully integrated financial services company," he said.

The company currently has total assets of $4.7 billion.

NetBank, which has struggled financially, expects to post a loss of $60 million to $70 million on the sale but said it will help the company meet its deposit obligations.

In its own release, NetBank said that it has been under "extreme financial pressure" due to a flat yield curve and a difficult mortgage lending environment for more than a year.

The company is selling its held-for-investment portfolio as well as the NetBank brand to EverBank as well.

NetBank will continue to own a mortgage servicing operation along with a retail prime mortgage franchise, but the company said it is evaluating its long-term strategic alternatives, as well as those of the company as a whole.

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