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Subprime Lender May be Acquired

Aames says sale likely in 2nd quarter

May 10, 2006

By MortgageDaily.com staff

A California-based subprime lender has announced there is a good chance it will be acquired this quarter.

Aames Investment Corp. made the disclosure in its first quarter earnings announcement today.

The Los Angeles-based lender said "it is in discussions with several parties regarding a potential merger or sale of the company. While there can be no assurance that any transaction will be completed or of the price of any such acquisition, the company currently believes that there is a significant probability that it will enter into a definitive agreement with one of the parties during the second quarter."

First quarter loan production of $1.6 billion, which had a weighted average interest rate of 8.39%, was 17% below the prior period, Aames reported. Core net income during the latest quarter was a loss of $6.0 million, compared to a $1.1 million profit during the fourth quarter.

"Our lower-than-expected gain on sale revenues resulted from increases on loan coupons not keeping pace with the market, as well as provisioning for an unanticipated loan repurchase," CEO A. Jay Meyerson said in the announcement. "The prices paid in the whole loan market for second liens and lower FICO loans continued to decrease during the first quarter, which particularly impacts our wholesale operation, where a majority of our production is in 80/20 loans."

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