Credit Suisse announced today that it has agreed to acquire LIME Financial Services, a wholesale subprime residential lender based in Lake Oswego, Oregon. The acquisition is contingent upon successfully obtaining necessary state regulatory approvals and could close later this summer, both companies said. LIME’s senior management team will be joining Credit Suisse as well as the sales and marketing teams. The company currently employs a sales force of over 150 professionals and operates in 49 states and the District of Columbia. It was established in 1999, and has funded over US$ 2.1 billion in loans in 2006 and US$ 250 million in the first quarter of 2007. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and at the time HW published this story, it was unclear if the purchase was motivated by liquidity problems at LIME. A large number of subprime wholesale lenders have faced liquidity problems in the face of a subprime credit crunch. “The acquisition is consistent with our plan to expand the residential mortgage securities business at Credit Suisse,” said Jim Healy, head of fixed income in the Investment Banking Division of Credit Suisse. “We have added origination capacity and servicing to the business in recent years. We believe Lime represents an opportunity to incrementally grow our platform.”
“Being part of one of the world’s leading banks will set the stage for the next phase in LIME’s growth,” CEO Zan Hamilton said. Credit Suisse was the fourth largest issuer of US mortgage-backed securities in 2006, underwriting 98 transactions with a total volume of over US$ 74 billion. For more information, visit http://www.limefinancial.com.