The Business

Forsythe Appraisals, LLC (www.forsytheappraisals.com) is a St. Paul, Minnesota-based provider of residential real estate valuation services to the U.S. mortgage lending industry.  Founded in 1940, Forsythe is the largest independent staff residential real estate appraisal firm and has developed an outstanding reputation for providing high-quality valuation services and superior customer service, which has earned Forsythe a favored position with national and regional bank and non-bank lenders, appraisal management companies (AMCs) and credit unions.

 

The Industry

Forsythe is a leader within the highly fragmented $2+ billion U.S. residential real estate appraisal market. The primary driver of the overall appraisal market is the strength of the housing industry. Key influencers of the housing industry are demographic trends and the underlying economy. These favorable trends will continue to drive demand for household formations, which will generate the need for new homes via new residential development or existing home purchases.  Further, U.S. mortgage origination activity is beginning to improve on the strength of the overall housing market, and Forsythe expects to continue to outperform mortgage originations and increase its overall market share.

 

The Process

Prestwick Partners initiated this transaction and acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Forsythe and Hillcrest Capital Partners, a Minneapolis-based private equity group.  Prestwick designed an M&A process, prepared marketing materials, evaluated acquisition proposals and negotiated the transaction with First American Financial Corporation (NYSE:FAF) and its subsidiary, First American Mortgage Solutions.  First American Financial is a leading provider of title insurance, settlement services and risk solutions for real estate transactions and First American Mortgage Solutions provides comprehensive solutions for residential lenders and servicers covering the entire loan spectrum. Prestwick’s process included both strategic acquirers as well as private equity groups.