April 18, 2005--The world's largest independent credit card lender has signed an agreement to purchase the 100th fastest growing company on the 2004 Inc. 500 list.

MBNA Corp., popular for its affinity marketing models such as alumni and sports team credit cards, plans to complete an acquisition of Nexstar Financial and all of its assets by May, pending regulatory approval, the company said. The amount of the purchase has yet to be released.

"Home equity lines are the fastest growing credit options right now," Bill Campbell, a spokesman for Nexstar said. "That's Nexstar's bread and butter."

Nexstar, a mortgage services outsourcing company, was founded in 1999 and had $23.5 million in revenue in 2003, posting 1,132% growth during that period. Nexstar's innovative approach to achieving a paperless mortgage system gained industry attention and accolades. National Mortgage News named Nexstar "one of the 15 firms to keep an eye on" and it awarded the company the Inman News award for "most innovative use of technology in lending."

MBNA, and its 5,000 affinity affiliates, says part of the value of Nexstar is its entrepreneurial spirit that may help the giant lending firm diversify its financial dealings.

"Besides the inherent value of Nexstar as a company, the people behind it are also extremely valuable to MBNA," Ed Murphy, a spokesman for MBNA said. "They really know what they're doing."

Nexstar will continue to do business under the same name and will preserve its original business model, according to Campbell.

"This transition will be seamless because of their versatile and extremely scalable system," Murphy added.