Berkshire Venture Boosts Loan Servicing by $2 Billion With Deal

May 28, 2014 4:04 pm ET

May 28 (Bloomberg) -- Berkadia Commercial Mortgage LLC, the joint venture of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and Leucadia National Corp., added $2 billion to its loan-servicing portfolio with the purchase of Phoenix-based Keystone Commercial Capital.

Keystone, with mortgage-banking offices in Boston and San Diego as well as Phoenix, will continue to be overseen by co- founder and managing partner Charlie Williams, Berkadia said today in a statement. Berkadia picks up 16 employees with the purchase.

“Berkadia has invested significant time in developing relationships -- particularly with life-insurance companies -- to expand our financing capabilities,” Ernie Katai, head of production, said in the statement. “This demonstrates our continued commitment to that expansion.”

Berkadia, the third-largest U.S. commercial and multifamily mortgage servicer, had a portfolio of more than $229 billion as of March 31, according to the statement. Servicers collect payments from borrowers and pass them on to mortgage lenders or investors, minus fees. They can also handle foreclosures when borrowers don’t pay.

Berkshire, the company run by billionaire Warren Buffett, created Berkadia with Leucadia in 2009 from a mortgage-lending business bought from bankrupt Capmark Financial Group Inc. The Keystone deal was completed May 23, according to today’s statement, which didn’t disclose terms.

Berkadia increased its portfolio with a deal two years ago to take on servicing of commercial loans from KeyBank Real Estate Capital, a unit of KeyCorp.

--With assistance from Noah Buhayar in New York.