Thrive Mortgage to acquire American Mortgage Service Company

Selene Kellam, who designed Thrive’s operations workflow, will be the combined company's CEO

Texas-based independent mortgage bank Thrive Mortgage has signed a letter of intent to acquire the Ohio-based lender American Mortgage Service Company (AMSC).

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition will strengthen Thrive’s retail channel and bring with it new territories amidst arguably the most challenging mortgage market since the early 1980s.  

Thrive’s chief operations officer Selene Kellam, who designed the lender’s operations workflow, will be the chief executive officer starting in 2023. Thrive co-founder Roy Jones will move to a chairmanship role. 

“We have never had a stated goal of being the biggest mortgage lender,” Randell Gillespie, Thrive’s national sales manager, said in an interview. “We are continually seeking opportunities for partnerships to help us lead our industry into the next generation of mortgage lending.” 

Both companies generate the vast majority of their origination volume through the retail channel and expect to expand their loan offerings by combining their businesses, executives said. 

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Founded in 2011 in Georgetown, Texas, Thrive originated $2.3 billion in loans over the past 12 months, 90% of it through the retail channel, according to data on mortgage tech platform Modex. Thrive has 60 branches and 258 active loan officers, the data shows.

The AMSC acquisition will allow Thrive to expand into areas where it lacks a brick-and-mortar presence.

AMSC is significantly smaller than its Texas-based dance partner. Founded in 1975 in Cincinnati, AMSC originated $836 million in mortgages over the last 12 months. It has 26 branches and 95 active LOs, Modex data shows. 

For AMSC, the deal enables access to Thrive’s technologies and structure in a challenging market, which, by some estimates, could shrink in half in 2023. 

Neither company is struggling or has to execute a deal quickly, Bill Case, AMSC’s CEO, said in an interview with HousingWire. It’s just a smart deal for both parties, he said.

And while he conceded that this has not been a “great” year, “We’ve not had great years in the past,” Case said. 

“We keep our company well capitalized. The deal is more about where we see ourselves in a year or two. We agreed that we don’t have tools and technology. We could get all the stuff that Thrive has, but it would take about many millions, in many years.” 

The companies expect the transaction to close in the fourth quarter of 2022. The acquired lender will operate as “American Mortgage Service Company, powered by Thrive.”

Veritex Holdings, the parent company of Veritex Community Bank, in 2021 acquired a 49% stake in Thrive Mortgage for $53.9 million.

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