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25 Oct 2006

Hedge Fund wants Board Seat

Hedge fund Basswood Capital Management, a New York hedge fund with about $2 billion in assets under managements, is asking for a boad seat with WCI Communities Inc., due to the company’s “extreme underperformance”.

Basswood has about 2 million invested in WCI shares, or 5%. The hedge fund wrote in a letter that given WCI’s “large inventory of entitled land in coastal Florida purchased prior to 2000,” Bosswood is entitled to private meetings with each of WCI’s board members “a request it says has been previously ignored…...and debate if WCI could be sold to a larger, better capitalized and more profitable home-building company.”

WCI is a luxury home builder based in Bonita Springs, recent tradings have been down at $15.87, 16.5 percent below its March 2002 initial public offering price. The company has been progresing steadily downhill,condo defaults are at 4 percent. New orders were down by 80%, and in July, workers were laid off.

Other hedge funds with vested intrest in the issue are Highbridge Capital Management LLC, another activist shareholder with 3% and Wellington Management Co. LLC, with 12.6 percent of WCI.

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