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Orchid Island eyes REIT IPO, again

Orchid Island Capital, a firm that invests in government-backed residential mortgage-backed securities, is attempting to convert to a real estate investment trust again.

Orchid Island filed on Monday with the SEC to raise up to $45 million in an initial public offering. The move bodes well for the markets, as it is an indication that demand is stronger now then back in the summer when Orchid first filed.

The Vero Beach, FL-based company, which was founded in 2010 and booked $1.8 million in interest income for the 2011 fiscal year, plans to list on the NYSE under the symbol ORC. Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. are the sole bookrunner on the deal. No pricing terms were disclosed.

Orchid is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bimini Capital Management, which will likely become the largest shareholder, should the IPO be successful.

Orchid, in July, postponed a planned 5.2 million-share public offering.

The delay comes five days after Orchid Island announced it would be lowering the size of its IPO.

By going public, Orchid Island could achieve the status of a real estate investment trust, which would allow for certain tax benefits, but limit investments to the mortgage finance space.

In that attempt, Orchid hoped to raise $42 million by offering 5.2 million shares for $8 each.

Earlier proposals suggested the firm would offer 7.5 million shares at a range of $10 to $12 per share, but Orchid later lowered its proposed offering.

jgaffney@housingwire.com

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