Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), an Atlanta-based operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, will acquire majority equity interest in Reston, Virginia-based MERSCORP Holdings, Inc., owner of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS), and at the same time agreed to rebuild the MERS System infrastructure, according to a joint announcement from ICE and MERS on Friday.
The transaction is expected to close at the end of June. ICE is expected to shift operations of the rebuilt MERS infrastructure to an ICE data center sometime in the first half of 2018.
The MERS System is a national electronic registry that tracks servicing rights changes and beneficial ownership interests in mortgage loans based in the United States; the updated MERS System infrastructure will be state-of-the-art and will provide “dynamic, world-class data and transaction management” which strengthens its value to homebuyers, regulators, and other stakeholders.
“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.”
Jeffrey C. Sprecher, ICE Chairman and CEO
The transaction also includes continued support of electronic promissory notes known as eNotes as well as electronic processing that serves both lenders and consumers, according to the companies’ announcement.
“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.”