In a rather surprising move, United Wholesale Mortgage President and CEO Matt Ishbia is set to acquire the Phoenix Sun and Phoenix Mercury.
The deal is reportedly valued at close to $4 billion, according to sources spoke to ESPN,
The sale would be a record high for an NBA franchise, topping the then NBA-record $2.35 billion for the Brooklyn Nets in 2019 for Joe Tsai.
This comes at an interesting time, with mortgage volumes down significantly from a year ago. mortgage rates,
But it could be a way for Ishbia to diversify its assets and not rely solely on mortgage lending.
Ishbia to buy Phoenix Suns for around $4 billion
As mentioned, Ishbia will reportedly acquire the Phoenix Suns and WNBA franchise Phoenix Mercury for $4 billion, per ESPN.
And while he’s best known as the owner of United Wholesale Mortgage, the largest wholesale mortgage lender in the country, he has plenty of basketball ties.
For one, he was a walk-on at Michigan State, one of the best college basketball programs in the country.
Additionally, he was part of the Spartans’ 2000 national championship-winning team, although his playing time was limited.
In the summer of 2021, he signed a “name, image and likeness” (void) deal for UWM with Michigan State, $500 a month offered to MSU athletes During the 2021-2022 season.
Previously, UWM had struck a deal with the Detroit Pistons to feature its logo on the left side strap of official team jerseys for the 2021–22 NBA season.
So it’s clear the man loves basketball, and is now taking a huge leap forward through NBA/WNBA ownership.
Assuming the sale goes through, it will mark the end of the Robert Sarver era that dates back to 2004.
Prior to this, the team was owned by Jerry Colangelo, who sold it to Sarver for a record $401 million at the time.
Ishbia Leads the Mortgage Broker Revolution
The general argument was that the quality of loans originated through the wholesale channel (brokers) was poorer than that obtained through the retail or correspondent channel.
at that time, Many wholesale mortgage lenders closed up shopAnd the big banks closed their mortgage broker channels.
But over the past several years, the mortgage broker has made a massive comeback, and now holds the highest market share since 2009.
According to a recent slide shared on Twitter by ishbiaThe share of mortgage brokers increased to 22.25% in the third quarter of 2022 from only 14.61% in 2016.
it was apparently up to 35% in 2006 before the housing market crashed, but fell below 10% for several years thereafter.
Ishbia’s UWM operates exclusively through the wholesale lending channel, which means you can only work with them through an independent mortgage broker.
They do not have retail operations that cater to consumers, unlike some of their competitors who do business through both channels.
In-spite of this, UWM to become the country’s largest mortgage lender during Q3 2022,
Ishbia’s company was able to generate about $33.5 billion in home loans, much more than its crosstown rival rocket hostageWhich funded $ 25.6 billion.
Of course, their large numbers are only a reflection of the three-month period. It remains to be seen whether they can hold on to the top spot for a full 12 months.
If they do, it will be quite an achievement considering their 100% devotion to mortgage brokers.
As far as the Phoenix Suns and Mercury are concerned, they should be in good hands, with an owner who has true basketball pedigree.
(Photo: chili head,