BANK OF AMERICA
ABN AMRO announces today that it has reached an agreement to sell ABN AMRO Mortgage Group, Inc. (AAMG), its US-based Residential Mortgage Broker Origination platform and servicing business - which includes AAMG, InterFirst and Mortgage.com - to Citigroup. Citigroup will purchase approximately $9 billion in net assets, of which approximately $3 billion is ABN AMRO Mortgage Group's mortgage servicing rights associated with its $224 billion mortgage servicing portfolio. After accounting for costs related to the transaction, ABN AMRO expects to record a small book gain on this transaction.
LaSalle Bank Corporation, ABN AMRO Mortgage Group's corporate parent, will remain in the residential mortgage business. Consumer mortgages and home equity loans will continue to be core products delivered by LaSalle Bank through its extensive retail branch network in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.
ABN AMRO's decision to sell the business is part of the Group's strategy to streamline its activities and to align them around its mid-market commercial and consumer clients. ABN AMRO Mortgage Group's business, which is primarily focused on a US-wide national mortgage broker network and mortgage servicing portfolio, falls outside of the bank's strategy.
"The mortgage company's performance over the last 18 months has been impressive," said Joost Kuiper, Member of ABN AMRO's Managing Board and responsible for the Business Unit North America (BU NA).
"In a declining market, ABN AMRO Mortgage Group realised increased revenues and profits, reduced its cost base, introduced products that positioned the company for sustainable growth and, most recently, has driven improved market share. It is this very turnaround that allowed Citigroup to see the value of the business. For us, the decision to sell was one that was appropriate to make in light of our strategic focus on the mid-market client segment."
Although the decision has been made to exit this business, ABN AMRO continues to have a strong presence in the US. The BU NA brings together ABN AMRO and LaSalle Bank Corporation's client activities in the US and Canada, forming one of the largest foreign-owned financial holding companies in North America with total assets of approximately $217 billion. LaSalle Bank Corporation is the largest bank holding company headquartered in Chicago with $122.3 billion in assets. The BU NA remains a significant contributor to the Group's revenues and its business is largely focused on ABN AMRO's mid-market client segment.
Closing is expected towards the end of first quarter 2007. Further information with regard to the final consideration, net gains and capital release will be provided at that time. The risk weighted assets for ABN AMRO Mortgage Group to be released as the result of this transaction amount to $8 billion. Lehman Brothers is assisting ABN AMRO as financial adviser on the divestment.
About ABN AMRO Bank N.V.
Netherlands-based ABN AMRO Bank N.V. is a leading international bank with total assets of EUR 999 bln. It operates more than 4,500 branches in 53 countries, and has a staff of more than 110,000 full-time employees worldwide. ABN AMRO is listed on Euronext and the New York Stock Exchange.
ABN AMRO Mortgage Group, Inc., a unit of LaSalle Bank Corporation, is one of the largest loan originators and loan servicers in the US, and has approximately 3,000 employees nationwide. ABN AMRO Mortgage Group's InterFirst Wholesale Lending brand, one of the nation's top wholesale and correspondent lenders, underwrites, provides funding for, and purchases residential mortgage loans originated at the retail level by independent mortgage brokers, banks and correspondents.