As UWM tries to build empire, brokers and rivals vote on Mat Ishbia’s $ 16 billion plan
A year ago, long before anyone talked about coronavirus, Rocket companiesmarket performance, or the curious acronym SPAC, Mat Ishbia had his plan in motion.
Ishbia’s company, United Wholesale Mortgages, had then risen through the ranks to become the second largest originator of mortgage loans in the country. UWM issued nearly 350,000 mortgages worth $ 108 billion in 2019, about three times more than the previous year. He hired thousands of workers at UWM’s 60-acre headquarters outside Detroit, defended the resurrection of the independent mortgage broker, deployed a suite of new technologies, had some dusting with hometown rival Quicken Loans (now Rocket), and generally ate lunch traditional banks and competitors backed by Wall Street.
But Ishbia was still biding his time. To execute his vision, he needed capital. A lot. Ishbia needed to be made public.
And so, a day after Rocket announced a rebranding of its wholesaler / partner channel, Ishbia dropped his bombshell: the 40-year-old executive was going to merge his company with a SPAC created by Alec Gores, giving it a 94% stake in a new mortgage company valued at $ 16.1 billion. As part of the merger, the new company would receive nearly $ 1 billion in new capital to deploy new technology, hire more workers and scale up.