SRM Global Raises Countrywide Stake

April 17, 2008 No Comments »

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SRM Global Master Fund LP increased its stake and subsequent voting power in struggling mortgage lender Countrywide Financial, according to an SEC filing released yesterday.

The Cayman Islands-based investment fund now owns 47,217,524 shares of the company’s stock, or 8.13 percent of those outstanding.

The company had previously held 31.7 million shares, or about a 5.5 percent stake in Countrywide.

SRM Global has been outspoken about the proposed $4.1 billion buyout of Countrywide since it was announced in January, arguing that the Calabasas-based lender was worth more than Bank of America’s bid.

However, Lehman Brothers analyst Bruce Harting said today that the sales price of Countrywide could actually fall due to continued deterioration in the credit markets.

Harting raised his forecast for loan loss reserves to $5.1 billion in 2008, up from $3.4 billion, including an expected provision of $1.6 billion during the first quarter.

He expects Countrywide to post a loss of $1.75 this year and break even in 2009.

Shares of Countrywide were up 25 cents, or 5.01%, to $5.24 in afternoon trading on Wall Street.

The company is currently trading at more than a 20 percent discount to the proposed buyout price, signaling continued uncertainty from investors.

(photo:myklroventine)

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