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Guaranteed Rate sells minority stake to Boston equity firm

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Guaranteed Rate, the mortgage lender who bought the naming rights to White Sox park, has reached an agreement to sell a minority stake in the company to Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P., a Boston-based private equity firm.

Some of the investment — the terms of which were not disclosed — will be used to buy back shares of the Guaranteed Rate from private investors.

Crain’s Chicago Business reported the deal to be worth more than $100 million. Victor Ciardelli, CEO, will stay on, also serving as chairman of the board.

In a statement announcing the deal, Guaranteed Rate said, “THL will have a meaningful minority stake in the company.”

“THL shares our core values of financial and operational discipline, combined with a culture of inventiveness, self-sufficiency and collaboration,” Ciardelli said in the statement. “We are very excited to begin this journey with them.”

Founded in 2000, Guaranteed Rate is the sixth-largest retail mortgage lender in the country.

The deal is still subject to closing conditions and regulatory approvals, according to Guaranteed Rate. The agreement is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of 2018.

“When evaluating different opportunities in the mortgage space, it became clear to us that Guaranteed Rate is well-positioned to thrive and grow market share moving forward, and that it is a great company to partner with in the mortgage market,” said Ganesh Rao, managing partner at THL.