GTCR, a Chicago-based private equity firm, announced June 17 it has formed a partnership with mortgage technology executive Scott Happ and both parties have agreed to acquire Plano-based Optimal Blue Holdings, a cloud-based software provider to the mortgage industry.
GTCR and Happ says they plan to build a leading business in the mortgage technology industry. Optimal Blue 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 Happ, Sue Baker and Optimal Blue’s existing management team to expand the Company’s strong network offerings and further invest in its technology. Happ, founder and former CEO of Mortgagebot, will join the company as CEO at close. 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,” said Happ. “I am excited to join such a talented team and look forward to growing the franchise.”
Stephens Inc. served as financial advisor to GTCR. Optimal Blue was advised by FT Partners.