LendingTree buys billion-dollar loan originator Surepoint
LendingTree Loans is acquiring the assets of SurePoint, originally known as First Residential Mortgage Network, in a deal expected to close in early 2011. SurePoint is a lender networked with LendingTree and, in the last decade or so, originated more than $10 billion in closed loans. SurePoint provides several loans, including mortgages and debt consolidation products with more than 300 licensed loan officers. Doug Lebda, chairman and CEO of Tree.com, the owner of LendingTree said, "This acquisition is a key component of our aggressive growth strategy for LendingTree Loans, which also includes expanding our team of loan officers headquartered in Irvine, Calif., increasing our marketing spend, and continuing to invest in process and technology to meet both regulatory requirements and our customers' needs." Tree.com will pay SurePoint shareholders an aggregate purchase price of $6 million in cash and contingent consideration up to an aggregate additional $17 million pursuant to earn-out provisions over the next three years. Tree.com was advised in the transaction by Petsky Prunier. Write to Jacob Gaffney.