Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), will acquire a majority equity position in MERSCORP Holdings, Inc., owner of Mortgage Electronic Registrations Systems, Inc. (collectively “MERS”). In addition, ICE and MERS have entered into a software development agreement to modernize and enhance the MERS System.
MERSCORP Holdings owns and operates the MERS System, a national electronic registry that tracks the changes in servicing rights and beneficial ownership interests in U.S.-based mortgage loans. ICE is a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services.
“This transaction underscores MERSCORP Holdings’ efforts to strengthen the value to its member institutions and continue to support MERS’ role as a national mortgage registry,” said Kurt Pfotenhauer, Chairman of MERSCORP Holdings. “The investment of capital and resources from ICE will enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of MERS for our more than 5,000 member organizations.”
“This agreement brings the strengths of our organizations together to benefit the U.S. residential mortgage finance market,” said Jeffrey C. Sprecher, ICE Chairman and CEO. “It also complements our data and technology expertise in diverse, regulated markets. We are pleased to bring our strong track record of innovation, governance and operational execution to MERS, and look forward to contributing to the evolution of mortgage market infrastructure.”
Benefits of this transaction will include:
>> A commitment by a leading market infrastructure operator with global experience in complex, regulated financial environments;
>> A state-of-the-art MERS System with dynamic, world-class data and transaction management that strengthens value to stakeholders, including home-buyers and regulators; and
>> Continued support of eNotes, which are electronic promissory notes, and electronic processing that serves lenders and consumers.
The transaction is expected to close at the end of June. Under the agreements, ICE will rebuild the MERS System infrastructure and is expected to shift its operation to an ICE data center in the first half of 2018. Price and terms of the transaction are immaterial to ICE, and were not disclosed.