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Investments

MERS owner, Intercontinental Exchange, is buying Simplifile for $335 million

ICE also operates the NYSE

The clearinghouse and global exchange, Intercontinental Exchange, announced an agreement Wednesday to acquire Simplifile for $335 million.

ICE is the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange and is also a provider of data and listings services; Simplifile operates one of the largest networks connecting the agents and jurisdictions that underpin residential mortgage records.

ICE also bought MERS last year. That deal came just over two years after ICE acquired a majority stake in MERSCORP, the owner of Mortgage Electronic Registrations Systems and operator of the MERS System, a national electronic registry that tracks the changes in servicing rights and beneficial ownership interests in U.S.-based mortgages.

The way Simplifile works is it acts as an electronic liaison between lenders, settlement agents, and county recording offices, streamlining the local recording of residential mortgage transactions. Simplifile is also a 2019 HW Tech100 winner as one of the top technology companies in the housing industry.

The acquisition of Simplifile expands the ICE Mortgage Services portfolio, which also includes MERS.

ICE will pay $335 million to acquire Simplifile, which is based in Provo, Utah and has no debt. Simplifile was founded in 2000 in order to digitize the closing process of the real estate industry.

“We’ve seen how ICE has helped to transform markets going through an analog to digital conversion and  has made them more transparent and efficient for all participants,” said Paul Clifford, Founder and President of Simplifile, in a statement. Further, the company plans to continue to introduce additional electronic solutions to serve the entire real estate transaction supply chain.

“By connecting lenders, settlement agents, and counties through a robust network, Simplifile will enhance ICE’s efforts to further streamline a legacy process ripe for innovation,” said Chris McEntee, President of ICE Mortgage Services.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

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