Black Knight Inc. says it is acquiring secondary marketing technology specialist Optimal Blue for $1.8 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter.
Optimal Blue – which has been owned by private equity firm GTCR LLC since 2016 – has one of the industry’s most widely used product, pricing and eligibility (PPE) engines. The company also provides secondary marketing services such as pipeline management; data and analytics; and loan trading.
“Optimal Blue is a business that we have respected for many years. By bringing Optimal Blue into the Black Knight family, we will be adding industry-leading PPE capabilities to our already robust set of solutions and enhancing our already comprehensive data and analytics capabilities,” says Anthony Jabbour, CEO of Black Knight.
The Optimal Blue network includes approximately 1,000 originators and 185 investors that use the company’s PPE engine, and more than 3,500 industry participants, including brokers and service providers. The PPE engine produces more than 240 million pricing quotes per year, representing approximately 35% of all mortgages with locked interest rates nationwide.
Moreover, Optimal Blue also offers Resitrader – an online loan trading platform delivered in a secure, cloud-based platform that connects investors to a large base of sellers.
Black Knight notes that in connection with the acquisition, it will combine its Compass Analytics business with Optimal Blue in a newly formed entity with minority co-investors Cannae Holdings Inc. and Thomas H. Lee Partners LP. Black Knight will own approximately 60% of the new entity.
Optimal Blue was founded in 2002.