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ResCap CFO Out

ResCap CFO Out

Mortgage mergers, acquisitions & corporate activity

March 26, 2007

By COCO SALAZAR

photo of Coco Salazar
Mortgage-related mergers, acquisitions and corporate activity during the latest week were overshadowed by the resignation of Residential Capital LLC’s chief financial officer.

But first, MainSource Financial Group announced its board of directors authorized a 1-year stock repurchase plan effective April 1 where it can purchase up to 500,000 shares — approximately 2.5% of the currently outstanding shares.

Wells Fargo & Co. said it received authorization from its board to acquire an additional 75 million shares of its common stock that may be issued for benefit plans, conversion of convertible securities, acquisitions, and for other corporate purposes. Wells has about 3.4 billion shares outstanding.

In Woodbury, N.Y., Delta Financial Corp. announced its trading on the NASDAQ Global market would begin Thursday. The nonconforming mortgage lender will keep the three-letter ticker symbol DFC that it has traded with on the American Stock Exchange since 2003.

Countrywide Financial Corp. chief Angelo R. Mozilo will not stand for re-election to Home Depot’s board of directors, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Mozilo will serve the remainder of his director term until the 2007 annual meeting of shareholders.

Meanwhile, Ameriquest Mortgage Co. has agreed to return the naming rights to the Texas Rangers’ stadium, which will now be called Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, according to an announcement. The subprime lender, which is among a rash of companies closing offices and laying off workers amid increasing loan delinquencies, had obtained rights to name the stadium Ameriquest Field in a 30-year agreement in 2004.

President George W. Bush was managing general partner of the Rangers before becoming Texas governor in 1995. Ameriquest-founder Roland Arnall was nominated as the U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate early last year.

Rurban Financial Corp. said it received regulatory approval to consolidate its Banking and Trust subsidiaries into its lead bank, The State Bank and Trust Co. The merger of The Exchange Bank and Reliance Financial Services N.A. into The State Bank was scheduled for Saturday.

Opteum Inc. issued a five-point press release in which it noted that it “believes that it is adequately reserved for early payment defaults related to subprime mortgages as well as all other mortgages” and has “very adequate liquidity.” The announcement reportedly followed a research report by Friedman Billings Ramsey and Company Inc. that questioned whether Opteum, which has stopped underwriting subprime mortgages, will continue to be able to secure covenant waivers on its warehouse lines of credit, among other things.

Vero Beach, Fla.-based Opteum highlighted its previous disclosure that it has secured all waivers needed to date, has incurred a total of just $8 million of margin calls on its 2007 warehouse lines, and that its $44 million subprime volume this year represented less than 5 percent of its year-to-date overall production. Plus, about $19 million of those subprime loans were underwritten by a third party buyer and sold directly to that buyer.

On Friday, Independent Bank and Independent Bank South Michigan said they acquired 10 branches from TCF National Bank for a premium of $28.1 million. The branches increase Independent’s market share in three Michigan cities.

James Giertz, chief financial officer of Residential Capital LLC, resigned effective April 13, parent GMAC Financial Services announced Friday.

“GMAC Chief Financial Officer Sanjiv Khattri will assume interim responsibility as CFO of ResCap until a permanent successor is named,” the Minneapolis-based company said.


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