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UPDATE 1-Mortgage lender loanDepot cuts IPO size to less than a fifth

(Adds background, underwriters)

Feb 11 (Reuters) - Mortgage lender loanDepot on Thursday slashed the size of its initial public offering to less than a fifth of what it had originally planned as the share sale failed to find enough buyers.

The company sold 3.85 million shares at $14 each, raising $53.9 million. It had previously aimed to sell 15 million shares between $19 and $21 each.

Mortgage firms have struggled to attract investors to share offerings despite bumper activity in 2020 as consumers took advantage of historically-low interest rates to refinance existing home loans.

Two mortgage lenders - AmeriHome and Caliber Home Loans - attempted to list in October, but did not price their IPOs.

Foothill Ranch, California-based loanDepot was founded in 2010 by Chief Executive Officer Anthony Hsieh. In a filing last month, it revealed a profit of $1.47 billion for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2019, compared with $18.2 million a year ago. (bit.ly/2MxkeTZ)

The company also counts private equity firm Parthenon Capital among its backers. In 2015, it postponed its IPO on the eve of pricing due to unfavourable market conditions.

Goldman Sachs, BofA Securities, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley were the lead underwriters for loanDepot’s IPO. (Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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