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Mortgage Brain gets to buy MortgageStream

Mortgage Brain has completed the acquisition of MortgageStream after it was given the green light from the Office of Fair Trading last week.

The OFT announced in January that it was stepping in to investigate the proposed acquisition over fears that it could substantially reduce competition in the market.

But a spokesman for the OFT says: “The OFT has decided, on the information available to it, not to refer the merger to the Competition Commission under the provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002.”

Mark Lofthouse, chief executive officer of Mortgage Brain, says: “We always hoped for this decision from the OFT.”

In December 2011, Mortgage Brain announced that it had agreed the terms to acquire point-of-sale and case management system provider MortgageStream for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition means that 13.4% of authorised mortgage firms will be using either Mortgage Brain’s Key system or MortgageStream.

Mortgage Brain subsequently informed the OFT of its plans, prompting the watchdog to launch an investigation into whether the deal would lead to reduced competition in the market.

It is the second time the OFT has stepped into a planned acquisition by Mortgage Brain. Last May, the firm had to abandon its bid to acquire rival TrigoldCrystal after the OFT referred the deal to the CC, which would have made it too costly for the firm to pursue.

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