WSJ: Countrywide Deal to Close Within Weeks

June 19, 2008 No Comments »

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The much anticipated deal between Countrywide Financial and Bank of America could close as early as July 1, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

The all-knowing publication said an e-mail sent to Countrywide managers today revealed that July 1 was the target date for the completion of the deal, assuming shareholders give it the go ahead when they vote on June 25.

And it’s clear that the two companies don’t want to waste any more time, considering the recent hoopla surrounding the “Friends of Angelo” VIP program that has sent shockwaves throughout the industry and beyond.

To avoid any further drama, the pair will likely do whatever is takes to get the deal done sooner rather than later, despite earlier forecasting completion later in the third quarter.

Since the merger was initially announced in mid-January, Countrywide has been lambasted by consumer advocacy groups, accused of mishandling bankrupt borrowers, and riddled with hefty losses and rising delinquencies.

The Calabasas, CA-based mortgage lender has also seen its current president dropped from the post-merger team and has received three nasty analyst views that recommended Bank of America drop their bid or walk away from the deal entirely.

And as Bloomberg aptly pointed out, the takeover price has dwindled by a billion dollars thanks to the flagging value of Bank of America stock, which has fallen from $38.50 to $28.14 since the deal was announced, valuing the merger at a mere $3 billion.

Shares of Countrywide ended the day up 16 cents, or 3.43%, to $4.83 after sinking as low as $4.35.

(photo: tamsinslater)

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