Roundup: Wachovia Strengthens Multifamily Presence

Wachovia Bank has acquired Lend Lease Mortgage Capital in a $42.5 million deal that will strengthen Wachovia's presence in the multifamily lending and servicing arena.

The acquisition gives Wachovia a servicing presence in the Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Department of Housing and Urban Development's FHA-insured lending programs.

Wachovia's origination activities targeting multifamily project developers and property owners are also expected to grow through the acquisition.

Steve Jones, managing director, strategic investments, Wachovia's real estate capital markets unit, said, "The assets and the strong team from Lend Lease, combined with our recent acquisition of AMI Capital, give us scale in multifamily mortgage servicing.

"These deals also round out the product offerings for our clients, and will enable us to significantly increase origination volumes in the multifamily sector."

And Ed Hurley, a principal with Lend Lease Mortgage Capital expects that the acquisition will make Lend Lease Mortgage Capital "even more meaningful to our clients - and to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other real estate investors."

A Wachovia spokesman said that the AMI and Lend Lease acquisitions will give the company an entry into the Fannie Mae Delegated Underwriting and Servicing market.

Mr. Hurley will be a managing director and co-head of the integrated company, according to the Wachovia spokesman.

Wachovia expects to ramp up its multifamily origination activity to $4 billion a year as well as add $8 billion in commercial mortgage-backed securities servicing to its existing $108 billion servicing portfolio, thanks to the two acquisitions.

About 50 Lend Lease Mortgage production and origination people are joining Wachovia as a result of this acquisition.

The company will be integrated into Wachovia's commercial real estate finance platform.

Wachovia had a total origination volume of $13.84 billion for 2002, ranking second in the commercial mortgage lending area, according to the Mortgage Industry Directory, an NMN affiliate.

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