The investor Wilbur Ross has agreed to invest several million dollars in Capital Markets Cooperative, a company that caters to depositories and nonbank residential lenders.

"He's a minority investor in us," said Tom Millon, the cooperative's chief executive. "But he could eventually become a majority investor."

Millon would not say how much Ross' WL Ross & Co. will put into CMC, but investment bankers familiar with the company said it will likely be less than $50 million.

CMC, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., has roughly 50 lenders in its cooperative, "but a majority of them are banks," Millon said. The CMC-sponsored firms fund roughly $25 billion a year in mortgages.

CMC operates a secondary market trading desk and tries to obtain volume discounts for its lenders. It also offers hedging services.

WL Ross has been investing in mortgage-related assets on the cheap for three years. It is the majority owner of American Home Mortgage Servicing of Coppell, Texas.

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