KB Home, Los Angeles, and Countrywide Financial Corp., Calabasas, Calif., have announced an agreement whereby KB Home will sell substantially all the assets of its mortgage subsidiary, KB Home Mortgage Co., to Countrywide's main subsidiary, Countrywide Home Loans.The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The companies also announced the formation of a 50-50 joint venture that will make home loans to KB Home customers. The joint venture will offer the full array of home loans provided by Countrywide, which will have day-to-day oversight of the venture. "Homebuilding and financing have evolved into substantially larger and more sophisticated businesses in the 40 years since KB Home pioneered in-house lending services for our customers," said Bruce Karatz, chairman and chief executive officer of KB Home. "We believe the transition to working directly with an established lending leader makes sense for the benefit of customers and business." The companies can be found online at http://www.kbhome.com and http://www.countrywide.com.

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