Search This Blog

12 Jan 2007

Hedge Funds asked to Bid on Ameriquest

Ameriquest has had talks with several hedge funds recently, including Ellington Capital Management, a large Old Greenwich, Conn.-based hedge fund, to see if there would be any interest in bidding on their company.

News of the possible sale was first reported by trade publication Asset Securitization Report. The New York Post reported that a source familiar with the hedge fund said J.P. Morgan bankers representing Ameriquest asked the fund if it was interested, fund executives haven't decided if they want to proceed and receive an offering circular.

Ellington's strategy relies on their ability to identify and purchase undervalued securities. They manage around $4.5 billion, with over $3 billion dedicated to mortgage bonds. Ellington’s Managing Directors are also investors in its strategies, with over $50 million of their capital invested alongside its clients’ capital. One of the hedge fund's specialties is hedging what Wall Street terms "mortgage credit risk" or the risk that homeowners with less than stellar credit profiles - which is Ameriquest's customer base - might default or fall behind on their payments.

According to rival hedge fund managers, selling the privately held Ameriquest to Ellington is a good idea, "Ellington has hundreds of millions of dollars in sub-prime paper on their books, they have good risk management and they have the cash. If [Ameriquest] is cheap enough, why not?," said one rival hedge fund manager. This rival noted that Ameriquest's $295 million settlement with regulators last year over predatory lending abuses removed a significant barrier for a possible buyer.

No comments: