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Intercontinental Exchange Agrees to Acquire Ellie Mae in $11 Billion Deal

In a late-breaking announcement on Thursday, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) announced that it has agreed to purchase mortgagetech platform provider Ellie Mae from Thoma Bravo. Valued at $11 billion, Ellie Mae will add to Intercontinental Exchange’s growing presence as a major workflow solutions provider for the U.S. residential mortgage industry. This growth includes ICE’s acquisition of a majority stake in MERS in 2016, and the comany’s acquisition of Simplifile three years later.

Ellie Mae President and CEO Jonathan Corr referred to these other players and the chance to collaborate with them in his remarks about the acquisition agreement. “We are excited to be joining the Intercontinental Exchange family and having the opportunity to work closely with Simplifile and MERS in helping our industry to realize the true digital mortgage,” Corr said. “We have been on a journey, as we have long said, ‘to automate everything automatable’ for the mortgage industry, and joining ICE, which has followed a parallel journey in global exchanges, will allow us to further accelerate realizing our vision.”

Founded in 1997 – and acquired by Thoma Bravo in February of last year in a deal valued at $3.7 billion – Ellie Mae offers a digital lending platform to help mortgage lenders originate more loans, reduce origination costs, and shorten the time to close. An alum of both our developers conference, FinDEVr, and making its Finovate debut in 2017, Ellie Mae reports that its customers save an average of $813 per loan, and close loans seven days faster, producing an average annual ROI of 698%.

During its time as part of Thoma Bravo, Ellie Mae recorded “nearly double revenue” while improving profitability, partnered with firms like AI Foundry to further streamline the mortgage origination process, and acquired fellow mortgagetech company Capsilon. Both AI Foundry and Capsilon are also Finovate alums.

“We partnered with Jonathan Corr, Joe Tyrrell, and the Ellie Mae team to advance their vision to automate the residential mortgage industry while also using Thoma Bravo’s deep software expertise to greatly improve the company’s operations and accelerate growth,” Thoma Bravo Managing Partner Holden Spaht said. “We are confident that being part of ICE will enable Ellie Mae to continue transforming an industry still in the early innings of digitization, and we look forward to following Ellie Mae’s continued success as part of ICE for many years to come.”

A Fortune 500 company formed in 2000, Intercontinental Exchange owns financial and commodity exchanges, operating 12 such regulated institutions in the United States, Europe, and Canada. The Atlanta, Georgia-based company also owns and operates six central clearing houses around the world. With revenues of $6.5 billion in 2019, Intercontinental Exchange is publicly traded on the NYSE under the ticker ICE. The firm has a market capitalization of $54 billion.


Photo by Scott Webb from Pexels