GLEN ALLEN, VA-A private placement of $277 million in capital enabled Saxon Capital Acquisition Corp., established for this purpose, to purchase Saxon Capital Inc., a residential mortgage company and its operating subsidiaries, from Dominion. Saxon is now an independent company. This divestiture is part of a larger plan to allow Dominion to complete its merger with Consolidated Natural Gas Co.

The transaction, dated June 29, settles today (July 9). It provides Saxon with more than $100 million in working capital. Virginia-based Friedman, Billings, Ramsey and Co. Inc. was the advisor and sole placement agent for the transaction.

Dominion’s merger with Consolidated Natural Gas Co. closed in January 2000. The deal requires Dominion to complete a divestiture of all of its financial services holdings.

“Saxon has been a profitable and value-adding member of the Dominion Capital group of financial services companies,” comments Thos. E. Capps, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Dominion. “We wish our colleagues there the very best. They are a talented, hard-driven group of professionals, and we’re pleased to be transferring ownership of the business to a group that includes this excellent management team.”

Adds Michael L. Sawyer, chief executive officer of Saxon, “The mortgage business is truly a people business. This divestiture will not affect the company, our disciplined credit and servicing culture, our management team or the way we do business. It’s business as usual, with the service our customers have come to expect from us. We look forward to being more responsive to our customers’ needs by continuing to embrace new technologies and products going forward.”

Dominion plans to use the proceeds from the sale to reduce its outstanding debt. Officials say the company will retain approximately $300 million in mortgage assets related to prior loan securitizations, and these will continue to be managed by Saxon. Through the private placement of the sale capital, Dominion acquired an approximately 9% position in Saxon Capital Acquisition Corp.