PaineWebber Mortgage sold to group Buyers include firm's management


PaineWebber Mortgage Finance Inc., with more than 150 employees at its headquarters in Columbia, has been sold to a group including the company's management for an undisclosed amount, the company announced late yesterday.

A spokeswoman for the mortgage banking company, formerly owned by PaineWebber Group Inc., said the purchase would have no effect on employment at the company and would not affect homeowners whose mortgage is held by the company.

Cindy Jones, the company's spokeswoman, said PaineWebber Mortgage employs a total of 400 workers. The company has about 25 branch offices in 11 states and the District of Columbia.

"This change in ownership establishes a platform from which we can aggressively grow the company through internal expansion and acquisitions of other companies," said David J. Gallitano, chairman and chief executive of the mortgage firm.

Mr. Gallitano, who will leave his post as executive vice president with PaineWebber Inc. in New York, was one of a number of top executives at the mortgage unit to team up with Merrill Lynch Capital Partners to purchase the PaineWebber Mortgage, Ms. Jones said.

Others included in the group are John W. Renner, president of the mortgage company, Thomas Ireton, chief counsel, and Douglas Douglas, executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Ms. Jones said the management team would continue to lead the company and has invested in the sales transaction, though no precise figures were disclosed.

PaineWebber Mortgage was founded in 1939 as a unit of the Rouse Co. It was sold to PaineWebber in 1984.

The company originates residential mortgages, services more than $6.7 billion in residential mortgages and has $3 billion in its commercial servicing portfolio. It also manages a real estate investment trust, Columbia Real Estate Investments, founded in 1986 and holding more than $185 million in assets.

The PaineWebber Group, said in a statement that it sold the subsidiary because "it no longer fit with the firm's business strategy which concentrates on retail sales and marketing, institutional sales and trading, asset management, and investment banking activities."

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