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REIT to Acquire Mortgage Banker

American Home to acquire Waterfield

January 13, 2006

By MortgageDaily.com staff

A day after disappointing investors with news of missed earnings targets, American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. announced it will acquire an Indiana origination operation.

The real estate investment trust will acquire Waterfield Financial Corp. from Union Federal Bank of Indianapolis, according to a statement today. The deal, to be priced at the book value of Waterfield's net assets, is expected to be done this month.

"Potential benefits from the transaction however are difficult to quantify and will depend on a number of factors," the statement said.

American Home Chairman and CEO Michael Strauss said the acquisition meets their objective of expanding production through low-cost acquisitions.

Yesterday, American Home reported it wouldn't meet its previous earnings per share estimates of $4.60 to $4.80, sending shares down 10 percent. The Melville, N.Y.-based company said a severe widening of the spread between the LIBOR and mortgages securities combined with a lopsided secondary market during December contributed to the bad news.

"I appreciate that the timing of American Home's acquisition of Waterfield is awkward given our company's news release yesterday indicating that we expect to earn only a small profit in the fourth quarter of 2005," Strauss said in today's statement. "We have been attempting to negotiate terms to enable us to acquire Waterfield for some time, and it is unfortunate that an agreement was reached nearly coinciding with our determination that it was necessary to lower our earnings guidance."

American Home expects to sell Waterfield's primary assets -- newly originated loans carried at the lower of cost or market -- after the acquisition is closed.

Waterfield reportedly has 46 retail, wholesale and correspondent production branches in 16 states.

Mortgage REIT news | REIT Directory
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