Soros, Goldman Sachs-backed mortgage insurer goes public

September 24, 2013 09:45AM

Billionaire investor George Soros, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase are poised to make a killing from a housing bet that they made at the peak of the financial crisis. Essent Group, a Bermuda-based mortgage insurer backed by the trio that premiered in 2009, filed for an initial public offering, the first by a home-loan guarantor in almost twenty years. Early investors in a company can see their investment multiply several times over when shares are sold to the public.

As housing began to rebound in 2012 — driven by the Federal Reserve’s aggressive bond-buying policies which pushed mortgage rates to record lows — Essent enjoyed strong growth. It nearly tripled sales in the first six months of 2013 compared to the same period last year and upped its market share to 12 percent, according to Inside Mortgage Finance data seen by Bloomberg News.

Essent’s IPO filing proposes a $287.5 million offering, but that is a placeholder amount that may change, according to Bloomberg News. The IPO doesn’t list proposed share prices or the number of shares that Soros and others will look to sell.

Janice Walker, a spokesperson for Essent, told Bloomberg News that executives declined to comment ahead of the IPO. [Bloomberg News]  – Hiten Samtani