Quarterly residential loan production fell by more than half at Accredited Home Lenders Holding Co. -- which said its auditor abandoned it. On the upside, however, the company announced several financing deals.
First quarter originations were $1.8 billion, according to an announcement today. Fundings were down from $3.9 billion during the first quarter and $3.6 billion a year earlier.
The San Diego-based lender said it has closed a $230 million term loan facility with Farallon Capital Management LLC. The five-year loan is secured by Accredited subsidiaries and gives the equity manager the option to buy 3.23 million shares of the company's stock for up to 10 years at $10 per share.
"The loan is a key component of our plan to improve the company's liquidity in order to maneuver in a nonprime mortgage market that has become even more turbulent than the market we described in our conference call on February 14," said Chairman and CEO James A. Konrath in the announcement.
"Farallon also was granted certain preemptive rights, registration rights and board observer rights," Accredited reported.
Accredited additionally said it secured a new $500 million warehouse facility from "a large commercial bank," renewed a $600 million existing warehouse line with an investment banking firm and is in negotiations with another investment banker over the renewal of another $650 million warehouse facility.
Finally, the company said it unloaded another $800 million in mortgages at 100.63 percent.
The sale of $2.7 billion in loans last month combined with today's announced activity has left the majority of warehouse facilities repaid, the company reported. Available cash is $350 million as of March 31.
Strategic options currently under consideration at the subprime mortgage banker include raising additional capital and a merger.
Grant Thornton LLP advised Accredited on March 27 it would no longer stay on as the company's auditor, the statement said. While no disagreements were cited, the accounting firm reportedly said "it would have had to significantly expand the scope of its audit of the company's financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2006."
Grant Thornton also abandoned Fremont General Corp. before the completion of its 2006 audit, according to an announcement today. The need for an expanded audit was also cited.