UWM-Gores deal stands as one for the record books

“I’m the largest shareholder, so I’m on the same team as them,” Ishbia said, noting that the company’s strong financial position — such as more than $400 million in profit in 2019 — allows for immediate dividends to be paid out.

“Second off, the investors we spoke to were excited about that. They said, ‘I’m not cashing out — I’m putting fuel on the fire of our company’s growth.’ I’m 41 years old I’m excited to continue to grow and (investors) wanted my leadership and our leadership team to continue.”

The completed deal gives UWM nearly $1 billion in new capital which Ishbia said on CNBC that he plans to put to use by investing in the mortgage company’s proprietary technology and further growing the wholesale mortgage channel in which the company operates as the largest player.

UWM’s southern neighbor, Detroit-based Rocket Companies Inc. (NYSE: RKT), also operates in the wholesale broker channel to a smaller degree, but dominates the retail sector of the mortgage market.

Gores, whose Gores Holdings IV Inc. (GHIV), was the vehicle used to take UWM public, has been labeled a “blank check baron” by financial research organization Pitchbook based on his track record of SPAC deals in recent years.

In 2020, some 244 SPACs — or blank check companies that are simply shells and exist to take existing companies public — raised more than $73 billion, according to Pitchbook.

Gores, whose brother Tom Gores runs Platinum Equity LLC and owns the Detroit Pistons, still has another three SPAC vehicles that have priced, but have not yet closed a transaction, he said Friday on CNBC.

A securities filing shows that Alec Gores holds just more than 25 million shares of the new company — about 1.6 percent — and at an $11 price those shares are valued at $275 million. Gores said Friday he plans to hold his shares in UWM “for a long time.”

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