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United Wholesale Mortgage Goes Public

Photo via NYSE

United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) CEO Mat Ishbia rang the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange this morning to herald his company’s arrival on the public markets.

The Pontiac, Michigan-based UWM is the first mortgage industry company to go public this year. The company’s stock, listed as UWMC, made its trading premiere at $11.95 a share.

UWM went public through a merger with Gores Holdings IV, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that created a $925 million infusion resulting in a combined company with a $16.1 billion valuation. SPACs operate by raising funds from investors and seeking out private companies to take public.

UWM is the nation’s second-largest mortgage originator, generating $54 billion in home loans during the third quarter of 2020. The only originator that surpasses UWM is Quicken Loans, which went public last August.

All current UWM employees will receive a minimum of $1,000 in company stock, with specific amounts varying based on the length of employment and other factors. Ishbia and his family will retain 94% of the company’s ownership.

"So if you’ve been here one day, you get $1,000 worth of shares," Ishbia said in a Detroit Free Press interview. "But some people will get tens and hundreds of thousands. We’re giving away between $35 million and $45 million shares of ownership in the company to our team members.”

Other industry companies that are planning IPOs for this year include the residential brokerage Compass, which submitted a draft registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a potential initial public offering last week, along with Home Point Capital Inc., the parent company of the mortgage originator and servicer Home Point Financial Corp., and the residential mortgage lender and servicer AmeriHome. Other mortgage companies that floated the idea of an IPO include loanDepot, Caliber Home Loans, and Finance of America—each announced their plan in late 2020 for public offerings but have yet to follow through with those announcements.

About Author: Phil Hall

Phil Hall is a former United Nations-based reporter for Fairchild Broadcast News, the author of nine books, the host of the award-winning SoundCloud podcast "The Online Movie Show," co-host of the award-winning WAPJ-FM talk show "Nutmeg Chatter" and a writer with credits in The New York Times, New York Daily News, Hartford Courant, Wired, The Hill's Congress Blog and Profit Confidential. His real estate finance writing has been published in the ABA Banking Journal, Secondary Marketing Executive, Servicing Management, MortgageOrb, Progress in Lending, National Mortgage Professional, Mortgage Professional America, Canadian Mortgage Professional, Mortgage Professional News, Mortgage Broker News and HousingWire.

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