ResCap Sells 6,000 European Mortgages to Fortress
Residential Capital (ResCap), the mortgage subsidiary of GMAC Financial Services, is selling its European mortgage assets and businesses to affiliates of alternative asset manager Fortress Investment Group (FIG). The transaction moves 10% of ResCap's total assets as of year-end 2009 -- and 40% of total assets when adjusted for the required Financial Accounting Standard (FAS) 167 treatment of off-balance-sheet securitization -- into Fortress ownership. ResCap said the assets in the transaction are valued at levels established in Q4 2009, and it expects no material gain or loss from the transaction. With this deal, GMAC is essential out of the European market. "The agreements to sell the European mortgage assets and businesses are key steps toward our objective of reducing the ongoing exposure for GMAC from the legacy mortgage operation," said GMAC CEO Michael Carpenter, in a press release. ResCap CEO Thomas Marano added: "These transactions validate the approach we are taking to pursue alternatives for our legacy mortgage businesses that strive to reduce exposure and preserve value." The transaction involves portfolios of 6,000 performing and non-performing European residential mortgage loans and associated servicing rights. It also transfers ResCap's Germany-, Netherlands- and UK-based mortgage platforms to Fortress ownership. Fortress Investment Group co-chairman Peter Briger said in a press statement that "the acquisition of these portfolios and companies are further examples of businesses looking to divest non-core assets - one of the compelling investment opportunities we are seeing in the current markets." Briger added: "These servicing platforms, combined with other Fortress owned servicers, provide our firm with expertise throughout Europe. Our platforms will not only maximize the value of European assets currently owned in Fortress funds but provide us with an increased ability to source and identify attractive investment opportunities." A Fortress spokesperson did not return calls requesting comment on financial terms of the acquisition. ResCap did not return calls seeking comment before this story was published. Write to Diana Golobay. Disclosure: the author holds no relevant investment positions.