Acquisition Firm Buys Calif. A, Alt-A Broker; Looking for More

W.J. Bradley Company Merchant Partners, LLC, an acquisition firm focused on consolidating small and medium sized mortgage brokers and banks, announced today that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire SB Financial, Inc., a Los Angeles-based mortgage broker. The SB Financial acquisition is the 10th mortgage company acquisition that W.J. Bradley has made in the past two years. Terms of the transaction were not released. Founded in 2003, SB Financial is a privately-held retail residential mortgage broker. The company is licensed in nine states, and has five retail offices and 139 employees, and in 2006, originated more than $650 million in A and Alt-A mortgages. SB Financial’s founder, Steve Zellers, will remain with the company as president, and will continue to have a financial interest in its future.

“We continue to be bullish about the investment opportunity in the mortgage sector, despite the recent market challenges,” said William J. Bradley, WJB’s president and CEO. “We intend to continue building our origination network, focusing on quality originators that have a competitive advantage and are led by disciplined entrepreneurs, like Steve, who are looking for the capital and scale needed to grow.” W.J. Bradley’s portfolio companies include mortgage banks and brokers operating in 40 states and employing more than 1,600 loan professionals. In 2006, W.J. Bradley’s portfolio companies originated more than $5 billion in residential mortgage loans.

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