By Saabira Chaudhuri
Walter Investment Management Corp. (WAC) has agreed to buy the residential mortgage servicing platform--including certain servicing related technology assets--of MetLife Inc. (MET) for an undisclosed amount.
Separately, Walter said it agreed to buy about $93 billion of Fannie Mae (FNMA)-backed residential servicing assets from Bank of America Corp. (BAC) for $519 million.
Shares of Walter rose 10% to $48.45 in recent premarket trading. The stock has more than doubled in the past 12 months.
Walter said it will likely employ about 300 of MetLife Bank's servicing employees and anticipates it will continue to occupy the current mortgage servicing premises in Irving, Texas.
MetLife Bank's servicing platform services Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac (FMCC) and Ginnie Mae mortgage loans with a principal balance of roughly $70 billion. The existing servicing portfolio was recently sold by MetLife and the loans will be transferred to the new owner prior to the closing of the latest deal transaction, likely in March.
Walter--a Tampa, Fla.-based asset manager, mortgage servicer and originator--said based on "expected continued growth opportunities," it is developing a "robust dual-track residential mortgage servicing platform" and expects to house a portion of the newly acquired Bank of America (BAC) rights on the platform.
"We believe the acquisition of the MetLife servicing platform, in conjunction with our existing high-touch servicing capabilities, positions us very well to continue to capitalize on the opportunities available in the mortgage servicing sector by providing additional capacity to assist with projected portfolio growth," Walter Chief Executive Mark J. O'Brien said. "In addition, the platform also accelerates our opportunities with respect to product diversity plans given its proven, efficient Ginnie Mae and Freddie Mac capabilities."
Write to Saabira Chaudhuri at [email protected]
Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires