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Countrywide to Make Retail Acquisition

5 HomeBanc branches to be acquired

August 7, 2007

By MortgageDaily.com staff

Countrywide Financial Corp. will acquire the retail operations of HomeBanc Corp.

The deal, expected to close this week, includes fixed assets related to five branches in Georgia, Florida and North Carolina, the two companies announced today. No cash premium will be paid by Countrywide.

A number of originators with Atlanta-based HomeBanc will be hired by Calabasas, Calif.-based Countrywide, the statement said.

The move follows Countrywide's attempt to soothe nervous investors yesterday with an 8-K Securities and Exchange Commission filing indicating it had net available liquidity of $186.5 billion as of June 30.

"Countrywide is continuing to leverage the opportunities that are arising from the consolidating market," Countrywide President David Sambol said in today's press release. "This agreement illustrates the low-cost, low-risk transaction strategy we are undertaking in this environment to strengthen our retail franchise. HomeBanc's focus on prime retail purchase originations fits well with Countrywide's long-term strategy of growing our market share in the retail channel."

HomeBanc President and CEO Kevin D. Race noted "extraordinary difficulties" in the mortgage market in the announcement.

HomeBanc, which placed fourth on FORTUNE magazine's January 2006 edition of 100 Best Companies to Work For, said late last year it would end its operation as a real estate investment trust. Shares of the company, which was booted off the New York Stock Exchange last week, currently trade around 30 cents .

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