LoanDepot says it’s going public (for real this time)

Lender hasn't disclosed how much stock it's selling or at what price

After a dramatic false start in 2015, California-based lender LoanDepot says it’s finally going public.

The company, founded by billionaire entrepreneur Anthony Hsieh, said Wednesday morning that its newly formed affiliate loanDepot Inc. had confidentially filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to go public.

“The number of shares of Class A common stock to be sold and the price range for the proposed initial public offering have not been determined,” the lender said in a statement.

In September, Bloomberg reported that LoanDepot, which operates in retail, wholesale and correspondent channels, was eyeing an IPO that would see it valued at between $12 billion and $15 billion.

LoanDepot, backed by private equity shop Parthenon Capital Partners, first announced plans to go public in September 2015, but canceled the IPO hours before pricing due to what the company called adverse “market conditions.” At the time, LoanDepot had sought a market value of $2.4 billion to $2.6 billion. In March 2017, the company revived plans for an IPO but didn’t follow through.

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LoanDepot, which has a reputation for investing heavily in technology, was the sixth-largest mortgage lender in 2019, issuing 146,000 originations. It originated 52,000 purchase loans and 81,000 refinancings, according to data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

It recently sold $500 million in senior notes at a 6.5% coupon amid a historic boom time for the residential mortgage industry.

Rocket Companies, formerly known as Quicken, went public in August, and raised $1.8 billion in its IPO.

Since then, a number of other large independent mortgage banks have announced plans to file suit.

United Wholesale Mortgage is expected to debut via a special purpose acquisition company this quarter at a valuation north of $16 billion.

Guild Mortgage debuted last month, though it failed to meet its initial price and its private equity firm owners sold less stock than they had planned to sell.

Afterward, with the stock market going haywire, lenders AmeriHome Mortgage and Caliber Home Loans postponed their planned IPOs.

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