- Rocket Companies (Quicken Loans), the largest mortgage lender in the U.S., announced it is preparing to go public soon. These are the details about the upcoming IPO.
Quicken Loans, the largest mortgage lender in the U.S., announced it is preparing to go public soon (filing). The IPO will be done through the parent company of Quicken Loans called Rocket Companies. And the company is planning to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “RKT.”
The terms of the deal including the price range and the number of shares have not been announced yet. Six banks will be involved in the underwriting of the IPO — which is being led by Goldman Sachs. And the proceeds from the IPO is going to be used for acquisitions and Class D stock from Rocket Companies’ existing holding company Rock Holdings (owned by the company’s founder and chairman Dan Gilbert).
The timing for Rocket’s IPO is interesting as the mortgage industry has seen millions of homeowners receiving forbearance on monthly loan payments due to record levels of unemployment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The directors of Rocket includes Dan Gilbert (chairman of the board) and his wife Jennifer Gilbert, Quicken Loans CEO Jay Farner, Quicken Loans president and chief operating officer Robert Walters, Quicken Loans chief financial officer and treasurer Julie Booth, Quicken Loans general counsel and secretary Angelo Vitale, Chief Tax Guy @ Rock Ventures LLC Matthew Rizik, CEO of Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co. Suzanne Shank, and Hollywood producer Nancy Tellem.
The company was founded in its original form back in 1985 under the name Rock Financial. Rock Financial went public in 1998 and got acquired by Intuit about a year later. Intuit renamed the operations Quicken Loans. In 2002, Gilbert and several other investors bought Quicken Loans back from Intuit.
Back in 2016, Quicken Loans launched the Rocket Mortgage brand with a tagline that said that the service could connect consumers with a mortgage in under ten minutes. With heavy marketing and customer acquisition, Rocket Mortgage / Quicken Loans went from a 1.3% marketshare in 2009 to 9.2% in Q1 2020. Last year, Quicken closed $145 billion in loans.
The Rocket Mortgage brand resonates especially with millennials — who represent the largest demographic for homebuyers in the U.S. Of the customers who utilized Rocket Mortgage for a home loan using the app, 75% were first-time homeowners or millennials. Rocket Companies also owns a range of companies such as real estate website Rocket Homes, title insurance service Amrock, and LowerMyBills.
Rocket Companies has seen net revenues double this past year. Specifically, the company hit nearly $1.4 billion in the first 3 months of 2020 compared to $632 million during the same period a year ago. And net income for Q1 2020 was $97.7 million compared to a net loss of $299 million a year earlier.
It’s worth mentioning that Rocket Companies generates a large portion of its mortgage originations in the form of refinances. And the drop in interest rates has driven substantial profits for Rocket Companies this year.
“If interest rates rise and the market shifts to purchase originations, our market share could be adversely affected if we are unable to increase our share of purchase originations,” said the company in its prospectus.
When the interest rates increase, it could make buying homes more expensive and cause a drop in the demand for the company’s services.
Rocket’s parent Rock Holdings Inc. and its owner Dan Gilbert is going to retain aggregate voting power that is equal to 79% in the public company due to the ownership of Class D shares, which have 10 votes per share. RHI is going to control business policies and affairs. And it controls any action requiring the general approval of stockholders such as the election of board members and the approval of any merger or sale.
Plus the S-1 filing also states that any effort to relocate the corporate headquarters outside of Detroit would “require the approval of 75% of the combined voting power of our common stock.”
Rocket does not plan to pay any cash dividends for the foreseeable future.
“As a holding company, our ability to pay dividends depends on our receipt of cash dividends from our subsidiaries, which may further restrict our ability to pay dividends as a result of the laws of their respective jurisdictions of organization,” said the company in a statement.
Rocket is also heavily tied to the successes of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The majority of the mortgages originated by Rocket are sold into the secondary market and the loans are securitized by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae.