BETHESDA, MD - Walker & Dunlop, Inc. announced it successfully completed the acquisition of CWCapital LLC ("CWCapital"), making it one of the largest commercial real estate lenders in the United States. CWCapital was formerly an operating subsidiary of CW Financial Services LLC ("CW Financial"), which is wholly owned by funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group LLC.
In 2011, the two firms originated $7.7 billion of commercial real estate loans on a combined basis. Based on the 2011 Mortgage Bankers Association ("MBA") rankings, the combined production would have placed Walker & Dunlop as the 2nd largest multifamily lender and 8th largest commercial real estate lender in the United States. Walker & Dunlop is also now the 11th largest commercial/multifamily mortgage servicer in the nation, with a commercial loan servicing portfolio exceeding $30 billion.
The aggregate purchase price to acquire CWCapital was $234.0 million, comprised of $80 million in cash and the issuance of 11.6 million shares of common stock to an affiliate of Fortress worth $154.0 million, based on Walker & Dunlop's closing share price on August 31, 2012. An affiliate of Fortress is now Walker & Dunlop's largest shareholder and will take two seats on Walker & Dunlop's 11-person Board of Directors.
"This is a fantastic deal for Walker & Dunlop and CWCapital, as we bring together two great firms to create one of the largest commercial real estate lenders in the country," commented Willy Walker, Walker & Dunlop's Chairman, President, and CEO. "In 2007, Walker & Dunlop embarked on an ambitious five-year growth plan that has included two major acquisitions and the Company's IPO. Our success has driven Walker & Dunlop from the 45th largest commercial real estate lender in 2007 to the 8th largest following this most recent acquisition. We are also now the largest Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and HUD/FHA lender, on a combined basis, in the country," continued Walker. "CWCapital's fantastic people, deep industry expertise, strong client relationships and broad geographic reach add a tremendous amount to the Walker & Dunlop platform. The increased loan origination volumes and financial wherewithal this acquisition provides accelerates Walker & Dunlop's progress towards becoming the premier commercial real estate finance company in the United States."
Former CWCapital CEO, Michael Berman, will serve as Executive Vice President of Walker & Dunlop, focusing on Government Affairs, through the end of the year. "Our team is very excited to be moving onto the Walker & Dunlop platform," said Berman. "I believe the two teams will work exceedingly well together, increasing the strength of the already incredible platform Walker & Dunlop has in place. I am proud of everything the CWCapital team has accomplished and I am thankful for all of their hard work."