Essent Guaranty, a new mortgage insurance company, has agreed to buy the operating platform and technology systems of Triad Guaranty, the nation's smallest mortgage insurer, which is in the process of self-liquidating.

Essent, of Radnor, Pa., will pay $30 million in cash and assume what it calls "certain software contractual obligations" for which the publicly traded Triad is on the hook.

Essent said it would establish its operational and software center in Winston-Salem, N.C., where Triad is headquartered. Essent's CEO, Mark Casale, said the purchase of the Triad assets "is the next major step in the formation" of the young company's mortgage insurance business.

Essent has yet to write any coverage, but has received $500 million in financial backing from a group of investors that includes Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

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