GTCR and Scott Happ Announce Agreement to Acquire Optimal Blue
June 17, 2016
Investment in Leading Mortgage Technology Provider
CHICAGO, IL – June 17, 2016
GTCR, a leading private equity firm, announced today that it has formed a partnership with mortgage technology executive Scott Happ to build a leading business in the mortgage technology industry. Simultaneously, the parties agreed to acquire Optimal Blue Holdings (“Optimal Blue” or the “Company”), an innovative cloud based software as a services provider. Optimal Blue, headquartered in Plano, Texas, provides leading managed-content, enterprise lending services to mortgage originators and investors. GTCR is partnering with new CEO Scott Happ to recapitalize the Company and further invest in Optimal Blue’s growth. GTCR has committed up to $350 million of equity capital to the investment to pursue growth initiatives at Optimal Blue as well as complementary acquisitions to provide information and other digital services to the $14 trillion mortgage marketplace.
Optimal Blue provides the leading product and pricing engine (PPE) for the mortgage industry which helps process approximately 1 in 4 mortgages originated in the United States. The Company has expanded the automated workflow platform in recent years to include secondary marketing, compliance, data and analytics and consumer engagement services across its network.
GTCR will work with Scott Happ, Sue Baker and Optimal Blue’s existing management team to expand the Company’s strong network offerings and further invest in its technology. Mr. Happ, Founder and former CEO of Mortgagebot, will join the Company as Chief Executive Officer at close. Ms. Baker, a former Senior Vice President at Mortgagebot will join Scott as Vice President of Product. Founders and current co-CEO’s Larry Huff and Ivan Darius will remain involved with Optimal Blue as consultants; the remainder of the management team will stay in place.
“GTCR’s investment behind Optimal Blue is a testament to the strength of the business that management and employees have developed over many years,” noted Mr. Happ. “I am excited to join such a talented team and look forward to growing the franchise.”
“We are thrilled to have entered into an agreement to acquire Optimal Blue, and would like to thank Larry and Ivan for building such an innovative business. Our extensive experience in mortgage and financial technology provides GTCR with a differentiated perspective on the Company and its opportunities going forward,” said Aaron Cohen, Managing Director at GTCR.
“Optimal Blue’s extensive network of investors and originators within the mortgage industry presents a platform off which to deliver more information and services,” said Collin Roche, Managing Director at GTCR. “We look forward to supporting Scott Happ and the management team’s efforts to drive product expansion, both organically and through acquisition.”
Stephens Inc. served as financial advisor to GTCR. Optimal Blue was advised by FT Partners.
Founded in 1980, GTCR is a leading private equity firm focused on investing in growth companies in the Financial Services & Technology, Healthcare, Technology, Media & Telecommunications and Growth Business Services industries. The Chicago-based firm pioneered The Leaders Strategy™ – finding and partnering with management leaders in core domains to identify, acquire and build market-leading companies through transformational acquisitions and organic growth. Since its inception, GTCR has invested more than $12 billion in over 200 companies. For more information, please visit www.gtcr.com.
About Optimal Blue
Optimal Blue is the premier cloud-based provider of managed-content, enterprise lending services including product eligibility and pricing (PPE), secondary marketing, consumer engagement, data and analytics, and compliance services. Based in Plano, Texas, Optimal Blue has developed an enterprise class suite of products and services designed to automate a lender’s complex processes, improving efficiency and profitability while gaining a competitive advantage. With a 99.999% accuracy rate, Optimal Blue technology connects hundreds of investors with more than 1,500 clients and currently helps process nearly 1 of every 4 mortgage loans originated nationally.