HW-Mat-Ishbia
Mat Ishbia, president and CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage

Mat Ishbia and his family will slightly reduce their ownership of United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM), a step to make the company more attractive to long-term investors – and, hopefully, to leave behind the “meme stock” label, according to analysts who follow the wholesale lender.

UWM Holdings Corporation announced on Tuesday that its controller shareholder SFS Holding Corp. – a holding firm controlled by Mat Ishbia and his father, Jeffrey Ishbia – is selling 50 million Class A common stocks on a secondary offering.

According to the company, no shares are being sold by UWM. Instead, SFS will receive all proceeds. J.P. Morgan and BofA Securities are acting as joint lead book-running managers.

The secondary offering has the potential to bring $297.5 million to the family (at $5.95 per share on Nov. 17). If underwriters purchase an additional 7.5 million shares available at the public offering price, the family can receive to $342.1 million.

However, SFS’s ownership would decrease from 93.6% to 90.6% of Class A common stocks.

“It is hard to garner up a lot of institutional investor interest in this stock. Only because the CEO ends up owning a big chunk of the company,” said Kevin Heal, senior analyst and fixed income strategist at Argus Research.