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Lender Oak Street acquired by New York firm

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For the second time in three years, Carmel-based insurance lender Oak Street Funding LLC has been acquired.

The company announced Thursday that it has been purchased by private equity funds managed by New York-based Angelo Gordon & Co.

Oak Street, founded in Carmel in 2003, was acquired in 2007 by Bridge Finance Group of Chicago for about $75 million, but remained in Carmel as a Bridge Finance subsidiary. The company has about 35 employees.

Terms of the latest deal were not disclosed.

A spokesman for Oak Street said the company will continue operations in Carmel and plans to add more employees.

“With this additional capital, we’ve strengthened our position as the top insurance lender and now have the ability to better serve our customers and actively expand our products and services into new areas,” said Rick Dennen, Oak Street founder and CEO, in a prepared statement.

Oak Street provides loans to insurance agents in order to expand their business and increase sales. The firm raised $50 million in capital a year ago.

The company said despite tough economic conditions, it "recorded its best year ever in 2009 and has continued to secure new sources of capital and lend money to a growing number of agents and brokers nationwide."

Angelo Gordon is a privately held registered investment adviser that specializes in alternative investing. The firm was founded in 1988 and manages about $23 billion.

“We are excited to work with Rick and the management group at Oak Street," said Art Peponis, co-head of private equity at Angelo Gordon. "They have carved out a unique position in the insurance-lending industry, and we believe the company is poised to continue its growth.”

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