Real Estate

Black Knight Acquires Analytics Firm eMBS Inc.

Real estate data provider Black Knight has acquired eMBS Inc., a Tampa-based company that tracks the performance of nearly $7.5 trillion in mortgage-backed securities (MBS) backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae.

The deal gives Black Knight “the most comprehensive view of U.S. residential mortgage whole loan and security performance in existence,” the companies said in a statement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Anthony Jabbour | Black Knight, Inc.

Black Knight CEO Anthony Jabbour called eMBS “the undisputed leader in providing a complete and timely view that combines data from the three agencies that make up this massive asset class.”

As an aggregator of performance data from loan servicers, public records and government data, Black Knight already claimed to have the broadest and deepest database of loan-level mortgage data.

Acquiring eMBS will help Black Knight solidify its secondary mortgage market offerings, Jabbour said, by providing “the industry’s preeminent agency data and analytics to clients of both companies, while helping them make informed decisions around mortgage-backed securities investment and research.”

Larry Gioia, president and founder of eMBS, said his company’s capabilities “will complement Black Knight’s comprehensive, nationwide mortgage data and enhance its ability to provide sophisticated analytics for [Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac,] and Ginnie Mae loan pools,” as well as real estate mortgage investment conduits (REMICs) that package loans into MBS.

Most of the money that funds home loans comes from investors via secondary mortgage markets, with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae providing guarantees to investors.

Last year, Black Knight partnered with a private equity firm, GTCR LLC to purchase Optimal Blue LLC, a marketplace platform that provides services connecting lenders and secondary market investors.

In its most recent annual report to investors, Black Knight said it holds a 60 percent stake in parent company Optimal Blue Holdco, having contributed $762 million in cash and its Compass Analytics business to the venture.

Black Knight is also a major provider of software, data and analytics to real estate professionals, multiple listing services and title insurers. The company says its Paragon MLS system is used more than 200 MLSs and associations across the U.S. and Canada.

Last year, Black Knight announced the acquisition of Collateral Analytics, a provider of real estate analytic products and tools catered to appraisers, appraisal management companies, lenders, investors and government agencies.

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