CoreLogic buying Mercury Network from Serent

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CoreLogic is acquiring appraisal technology company Mercury Network from Serent Capital just two years after the San Francisco-based private equity firm purchased it.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Serent did not return a request for comment.

"Through this acquisition, CoreLogic will improve its value proposition and go to market strategy for its broad range of valuation-related data and analytics to this important and growing segment of the industry," said Frank Martell, president and CEO in a press release.

Serent purchased Mercury in May 2015 after it was split out of a la mode. In August 2016, Mercury acquired valuation data and analytics services provider Platinum Data Solutions.

CoreLogic has already taken a 45% passive minority stake in Mercury Networks, with the purchase of the remaining 55% equity interest to be finalized later this year, pending regulatory approval.

Serent is also a minority investor in Docutech and previously had a stake in Optimal Blue, which it sold in 2016.

Irvine, Calif.-based CoreLogic already owns FNC, which it acquired in 2016, but that company serves the larger lenders, said Brandon Dobell, an analyst with William Blair. On the other hand, Mercury Network's business is more focused on smaller lenders like mortgage bankers and credit unions.

Other CoreLogic acquisitions in the past couple of years were on "the human capital side" with the purchases of RELS and LandSafe, he said. So, it "views the appraisal and valuation space as one, that like mortgage servicing, is going to have a couple of scale players that have the ability to make the process efficient, very transparent, very accurate, and very quick in order to address regulatory concerns and to address lender concerns," Dobell said.

"CoreLogic recognizes the market structure has to change and by making some acquisitions...and bringing technology to bear they should be able to an inefficient process more efficient and more transparent," Dobell said.

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