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Aurora shareholders to vote on Better.com merger proposal 

Shareholders of Aurora to vote on merger on August 11 after deadline to complete business combination was extended three times

About two years after Better.com announced its plans to go public via special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Aurora Acquisition Corp., the fate of Better.com’s journey to IPO will be decided next month.

“Aurora shareholders will be asked to consider and vote upon a proposal (…) to approve and adopt the agreement and plan of merger dated as of May 10, 2021,” Aurora said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday. 

The vote will take place on August 11 ahead of the extended deadline to complete the merger deal on September 30. 

Amid the unfavorable market conditions – sharp interest rate increases and declining origination production– massive layoffs and bad press against Better.com, the deadline to complete the merger deal was extended three separate times. 

Shareholders will also be asked to vote upon a proposal to approve domesticating the corporation incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware from the Cayman Islands. 

“In connection with the consummation of the business combination and domestication, Aurora will change its name to Better Home & Finance Holding Company,” according to the filing. 

If Aurora is unable to complete the merger with Better.com by the extended deadline of September 30 and is not able to complete another business combination by the specified date, Aurora will cease all operations within 10 business days except for the purpose of winding up. 

Better.com declined to comment for the story.

As with most of the mortgage lenders in the country, the digital mortgage lender continued to spill red ink.

Aurora’s filings from earlier this month showed that Better.com posted a net loss of $89.9 million in Q1 2023 and cut about 91% of its workforce over an approximately 18-month period.

In June, the digital mortgage lender decided to shift its real estate strategy, pivoting to a partner agent model where Better.com will partner with outside agents as referral partners. 

As part of the shift from its operating model of in-house licensed professionals, Better.com laid off the agents in its real estate brokerage subsidiary Better Real Estate LLC.

The digital lender had about 950 team members as of June 8 — a 91% drop from its peak of about 10,400 employees in Q4 2021. 

The lender funded 2,347 loans in the first quarter, a decline of 87% compared to 18,559 loans funded in Q1 2022. A total of 29,818 loans were funded in 2022, a decrease of 81% from 153,843 in 2021. 

Better.com ranked as the 59th largest mortgage lender in the country in the first quarter, per Inside Mortgage Finance.

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