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loanDepot to Acquire Mortgage Master in Major M&A Deal

busineshandshakeloanDepot, one of the nation's largest nonbank mortgage lenders, is set to acquire super-regional mortgage firm Mortgage Master in a deal expected to close early next year, the companies announced.

According to the announcement, the combination of the two brands will result in 130 retail lending branches, four Web product centers, and 3,700 full-time associates working under one company nationwide. Together, the companies' retail loan funding volume totaled $1.75 billion in October, with nearly $70 million in top-line revenue.

The combined company will maintain and operate the loanDepot.com, imortgage, and Mortgage Master consumer brands.

"By welcoming our colleagues at Mortgage Master to loanDepot, we are creating a very powerful and exciting opportunity for the organization, consumers, and our employees," said Anthony Hsieh, chairman and CEO of loanDepot, LLC. "Our business models, our cultures, and our product offerings are highly complementary. The combined company will position us to accelerate our expansion in the northeast while continuing to build our national consumer lending businesses offering both mortgage and nonmortgage lending products."

Through the acquisition, loanDepot says it hopes to fuel further growth in its enterprise-level retail branch strategy while complementing its online direct-lending business, giving its customers more options for lending products, services, and locations.

The latest acquisition is loanDepot's second major merger and acquisition (M&A) transaction in the last two years. In November 2013, the company started operating imortgage, a leading retail lending platform with more than 85 branch locations throughout the western United States.

"We will continue growing market share through organic expansion and selective strategic acquisitions and have many important milestones ahead, including the introduction of consumer loans," Hsieh said.

As part of the agreement, Mortgage Master's founder and CEO, Leif Thomsen, will continue to lead the company's brand, along with president Paul Anastos.

"We are extremely excited to join the loanDepot team," Thomsen said. "Our goal was to position Mortgage Master so we could continue offering the best programs at the best prices, while delivering more innovative products, marketing services and technology resources for our employees to ensure best-in-class services to borrowers. This partnership empowers us to do this while creating substantial growth opportunity for the Mortgage Master brand."

About Author: Tory Barringer

Tory Barringer began his journalism career in early 2011, working as a writer for the University of Texas at Arlington's student newspaper before joining the DS News team in 2012. In addition to contributing to DSNews.com, he is also the online editor for DS News' sister publication, MReport, which focuses on mortgage banking news.

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