NYSE-owner ICE to buy Ellie Mae in $11 billion deal

FILE PHOTO: A screen displays the logo and ticker symbol for Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., November 3, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

(Reuters) - Intercontinental Exchange Inc ICE.N (ICE) said on Thursday it would buy Ellie Mae, a technology platform for the mortgage finance industry, from private equity firm Thoma Bravo in a deal valued at $11 billion.

Strengthening its position in mortgage servicing has been a key focus for the owner of the New York Stock Exchange in recent years.

Jeffrey Sprecher, chairman and chief executive of ICE, said in a statement the transaction represented a “one-of-a-kind opportunity” that would “enhance ICE’s growth strategy in mortgage technology”.

Buying Ellie Mae was expected to be accretive to ICE’s adjusted earnings per share in the first full year of ownership, the statement added.

The transaction is expected to yield a substantial profit for Chicago-based Thoma Bravo, which only completed the $3.7 billion take-private acquisition of Ellie Mae in April 2019.

ICE will fund its Ellie Mae purchase, which is expected to close before the end of 2020, predominantly using cash, with 16% of the value covered by the issuance of new ICE common stock.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru and David French in New York; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Tom Brown