Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), a leading operator of global
exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings
services, today announced that it has entered into a definitive
agreement to acquire Simplifile, LC. Simplifile operates one of the
largest networks connecting the agents and jurisdictions that underpin
residential mortgage records, serving as an electronic liaison between
lenders, settlement agents, and county recording offices, streamlining
the local recording of residential mortgage transactions.
As a pioneer in helping its customers submit electronic documents into
the public record, the acquisition of Simplifile expands the ICE
Mortgage Services portfolio, which includes MERS. Simplifile and MERS
support the residential lending industry’s shift to digitization and
will, together, help to make the mortgage closing process simpler,
faster, and more transparent for a range of industry stakeholders.
ICE will pay $335 million to acquire Simplifile, which is based in
Provo, Utah and has no debt. The transaction is expected to close in the
third quarter of this year, subject to the expiration or termination of
the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust
Improvements Act of 1976, as amended. ICE does not expect the
transaction to have any impact on its previously announced capital
return plans. Upon closing, Simplifile, which has approximately 200
employees, will continue to be based in Provo and operate under the
“Originators, consumers, and investors can obtain significant benefits
and savings as the real estate process shifts from paper-based to
digital transactions. Simplifile understood this trend early, uniquely
solving for the critical aspect of submitting required documents into
the public record in a seamless, auditable and transparent method,” said
Chris McEntee, President of ICE Mortgage Services. “By connecting
lenders, settlement agents, and counties through a robust network,
Simplifile will enhance ICE’s efforts to further streamline a legacy
process ripe for innovation,” McEntee added.
Simplifile was founded in 2000 with the goal of digitizing the closing
process of the real estate industry. Starting with Utah County, it began
the process of onboarding, one by one, all 3,594 mortgage recording
jurisdictions in the U.S. Simplifile today connects 1,922 counties in
the United States, representing over 80 percent of the U.S. population.
Leveraging its core eRecording product, Simplifile continues to
introduce additional electronic solutions to serve the entire real
estate transaction supply chain. The company has delivered a consistent
history of revenue growth and has been profitable every year since its
“We’ve seen how ICE has helped to transform markets going through an
analog to digital conversion and has made them more transparent and
efficient for all participants,” said Paul Clifford, Founder and
President of Simplifile. “We are closely aligned with ICE’s vision as it
applies to the residential mortgage industry and, as we become part of
Intercontinental Exchange, our team at Simplifile will continue our
efforts to simplify the industry for all of its stakeholders,” Clifford
As an indication of the increased pace of transformation of the mortgage
industry, ICE and MERS announced earlier in April that the number of
eNotes added to the MERS® eRegistry during the first quarter
of 2019 exceeded the total number of eNotes registered for all of 2018.
An electronic note, or eNote, is the functional equivalent of a paper
promissory note when created in conformity with eCommerce law
requirements, and upon origination, is registered on the MERS®
eRegistry. Digital solutions such as the eNote are gaining traction and
represent an important step towards a fully electronic mortgage.
About Simplifile, LC
Simplifile, the nation’s largest e-recording network, was founded in
2000 to connect settlement agents and county recorders via its
e-recording service. Today Simplifile has broadened its services to
include collaboration tools and post-closing visibility for mortgage
lenders and settlement agents working together on real estate documents.
Through Simplifile, users can securely record, share and track
documents, data and fees with ease. To learn more, visit https://simplifile.com/
About MERSCORP Holdings, Inc.
MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. is a subsidiary of Intercontinental Exchange
(NYSE: ICE) and operates the MERS® System, MERS® eRegistry and all other
MERS® products and services. The MERS® System is a national electronic
database that tracks changes in mortgage servicing and beneficial
ownership interests in residential mortgage loans on behalf of its
members. The MERS® eRegistry is the system of record for identifying the
Controller (holder) and Location (custodian) for the authoritative copy
of an eNote. Learn more about the MERS® System or MERS® eRegistry at www.mersinc.org.
About Intercontinental Exchange
Exchange (NYSE: ICE) is a Fortune 500 company formed in the year
2000 to modernize markets. ICE serves customers by operating the exchanges,
clearing houses and
information services they rely upon to invest, trade and manage risk
across global financial and commodity markets. A leader in market data, ICE
Data Services serves the information and connectivity needs across
virtually all asset classes. As the parent company of the New
York Stock Exchange, the company raises more capital than any other
exchange in the world, driving economic growth and transforming markets.
Trademarks of ICE and/or its affiliates include Intercontinental
Exchange, ICE, ICE block design, NYSE and New York Stock Exchange.
Information regarding additional trademarks and intellectual property
rights of Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. and/or its affiliates is
located at http://www.intercontinentalexchange.com/terms-of-use.
Key Information Documents for certain products covered by the EU
Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products Regulation can
be accessed on the relevant exchange website under the heading “Key
Information Documents (KIDS).”
Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
of 1995 — Statements in this press release regarding ICE’s business
that are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements” that
involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of additional risks
and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those
contained in the forward-looking statements, see ICE’s Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, including, but not limited to, the
risk factors in ICE’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended
December 31, 2018, as filed with the SEC on February 7, 2019.