Online retail lender loanDepot raised just $54 million by offering 3.9 million shares at $14 on Thursday, far below the range of $19 to $21 it initially had sought. The downsized offering follows a theme that’s afflicted almost all of the nonbank mortgage originators that have gone public in the last year.
LoanDepot, the second-largest retail-focused IMB in the country, had initially planned to raise about $362.5 million by selling 17 million shares at $21 in an IPO. Instead, with the $54 million raised, its proceeds came in at 82% less than bookrunners had projected earlier this week.
All of this occurs against the backdrop of record origination volumes and record profits at the California-based lender, which is the fifth-largest overall retail lender in the country, according to Inside Mortgage Finance.
In its S-1, loanDepot said it originated $79.4 billion in loans for the 12 months that ended Sept. 30, 2020. And according to Inside Mortgage Finance, loanDepot originated about $100.7 billion in mortgages throughout 2020.
The company generated $1.47 billion in net income in the nine months through Sept. 30, blowing away any prior record many times over.
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“We’ve created a company that is built to serve customers throughout the entire loan transaction, from the onset of the purchase or refinance decision through loan closing and servicing,” its CEO and founder Anthony Hsieh said in the prospectus.
In its prospectus, loanDepot spoke of its partner business, which includes third-party-originations via mortgage brokers and real estate agents, as well as joint-ventures with builders and other referral partners. But it noted that its retail strategy is more developed. LoanDepot originated 72% of the company’s loans in 2019 via its 2,000-member strong retail channel, and 28% through its partner network.
LoanDepot has demonstrated it can harvest leads through its “mello” technology platform and close with a direct-to-consumer approach, but such a strategy has limitations when interest rates rise and the purchase market is more viable.
As of early Thursday afternoon, investors seem to have responded well to loanDepot’s downsizing approach. The stock was trading at $16.80 as of 12:34 p.m. EST and had even hit a high of $17.77 earlier in the day.
LoanDepot is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol LDI. Its bookrunners include Goldman Sachs, BofA Securities, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Citi, Jefferies and UBS Investment Bank acted as lead managers on the deal.
Backed by private equity firm Parthenon Capital Partners, loanDepot first announced plans to go public in September 2015, but canceled the IPO hours before pricing due to what the company called adverse “market conditions.” At the time, LoanDepot had sought a valuation of $2.4 billion to $2.6 billion. In 2017, the company revived plans for an IPO but didn’t take the plunge.
Its entrance into the public markets follows that of several rivals, including Rocket Companies (Hsieh said in the fall that loanDepot was the Lyft to Rocket’s Uber) as well as wholesale-only lenders United Wholesale Mortgage and Homepoint.
It’s unclear if Apollo Global-owned AmeriHome and Lone Star Holdings-owned Caliber Home Loans will go public after their respective financial backers postponed their planned IPOs in October due to adverse market conditions.
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