A fast-growing Portland private company is sold

A company that was one of the region’s fastest-growing outfits in 2017 has a new owner.

LoanStar Home Loans LLC agreed to the acquisition, by Commerce Home Mortgage LLC, this week. It said its loan production offices in eight states — Oregon, Washington, California, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, Utah, and Hawaii — will continue to operate “under the LoanStar name as a division of Commerce.”

Commerce is based in San Ramon, Calif. Terms of the transaction weren’t immediately disclosed.

The company ranked ninth on the PBJ 100 list, which tracks fast-growing businesses, in 2017. The residential mortgage lender, which specializes in purchase and refinance lending, reported $55.67 million in revenue and 430 employees in 2016.

CEO and founder Michael Baldwin said a year ago the company wasn’t looking to exit or sell the business.

Asked about the biggest challenges of managing a growing company, Baldwin cited maintaining the culture.

“At LoanStar we pride ourselves in being transparent, being familial and having fun,” he said. “As you spread out from your core base to grow, it becomes harder to project this great culture.”

Article first published on Portland Business Journal here