MuniMae Acquires George Elkins, Will Grow Commercial Lending Portfolio

Fog Cutter Capital Group Inc. said late Wednesday that it sold its mortgage brokerage unit, George Elkins Mortgage Banking Company, to a division of MuniMae (NYSE:MMA) for $10.4 million. MuniMae is one of the nation’s largest commercial and multifamily mortgage finance operations. Assets under management at the company exceed $18 billion, including investments in 3,000 multifamily properties containing 320,000 units in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Headquartered in Los Angeles, with offices in the Southern California market, George Elkins provides brokerage services in the origination of commercial mortgages. George Elkins specializes in arranging commercial real estate loans for a variety of property types, such as apartments, hotels, small office, and retail centers, with loan amounts typically between $1 million and $50 million.

During 2006, George Elkins facilitated the placement of over $1.0 billion in commercial mortgages, and currently manages a commercial loan servicing portfolio in excess of $1.1 billion for various investors. Fog Cap Commercial Lending, a subsidiary of Fog Cutter Capital Group, purchased a controlling stake in George Elkins for $2.3 million in 2002. At that time, George Elkins originated approximately $485 million annually in new loans; the company has originated over $1 billion annually durng 2005 and 2006. In a press statement, Fog Cutter said that the sale of George Elkins is in line with the company’s strategy to divest its non-core subsidiaries and concentrate its focus on the growth of its Fatburger Corporation restaurant operations. Fog Cutter acquired a controlling interest in Fatburger in August 2003.

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