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Intercontinental Exchange to Acquire Ellie Mae

Intercontinental Exchange, operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of mortgage technology, data, and listing services, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Ellie Mae, mortgage-software firm, from private equity investment firm Thoma Bravo.

Thoma Bravo values Ellie Mae at approximately $11 billion.

“We partnered with ... the Ellie Mae team to advance their vision to automate the residential mortgage industry while also using Thoma Bravo’s deep software expertise to greatly improve the company’s operations and accelerate growth,” said Holden Spaht, a Managing Partner at Thoma Bravo. “We are confident that being part of ICE will enable Ellie Mae to continue transforming an industry still in the early innings of digitization, and we look forward to following Ellie Mae’s continued success as part of ICE for many years to come.”

The deal will strengthen ICE's focus on mortgage services, the company says, and it represents a dedication to the digitization of the U.S. mortgage industry—an industry in which the entire production chain, from lead generation to application, to pre-closing, to closing, to post-closing, has traditionally been a highly document-centric and manual process. ICE intends to automate the post-closing process with the addition of Ellie Mae.

It is a “one-of-a-kind opportunity” that would “enhance ICE’s growth strategy in mortgage technology,” Jeffrey Sprecher, Chairman and Chief Executive of ICE, said in a statement.

“Twenty years after we founded Intercontinental Exchange to provide a transparent trading platform for the energy industry, and following two decades of providing continued innovation to help customers navigate global markets, we are pleased to announce the acquisition of Ellie Mae, which will help us similarly transform the mortgage marketplace,” Sprecher said.

Jonathan Corr, President and CEO of Ellie Mae said he is excited "to be joining the Intercontinental Exchange family and having the opportunity to work closely with Simplifile and MERS in helping our industry to realize the true digital mortgage."

“We have been on a journey, as we have long said, ‘to automate everything automatable’ for the mortgage industry, and joining ICE, which has followed a parallel journey in global exchanges, will allow us to further accelerate realizing our vision. We also greatly appreciate, and have significantly benefited from, the operational and strategic support from Thoma Bravo. They were instrumental in helping us achieve this outcome, which is a great one for our customers and the industry in general."

About Author: Christina Hughes Babb

Christina Hughes Babb is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. During her 10 years at Advocate Media/Dallas Magazine, she published thousands of articles covering local politics, real estate, development, crime, the arts, entertainment, and human interest, among other topics. She has won two national Mayborn School of Journalism Ten Spurs awards for nonfiction, and has penned pieces for Texas Monthly, Salon.com, Dallas Observer, Edible, and the Dallas Morning news, among others.
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