Accredited Home Lenders — in danger of being left at the altar by Lone Star Funds, who had earlier agreed to purchase the troubled subprime lender for $400 million — said this morning that it has filed a lawsuit against Lone Star. The suit seeks “specific performance of Lone Star’s obligations to close Lone Star’s tender offer for the outstanding common stock of Accredited and to complete the merger with Accredited,” according to the press statement. The press statement also pushes Accredited’s shareholders to tender their shares before the tender expiration date on Tuesday; company shareholders must tender 50 percent of outstanding shares in order to meet conditions set forth in the sale agreement. Without direct knowledge of the matter, the fact that the company is now publicly urging shareholders to meet the tender offer suggests that an insufficient number of shares have been tendered as of this morning. Accredited said it has ample resources to continue operating, looking to quell any speculation that a failed merger might equate to a liquidity crisis:
… neither Lone Star’s filing indicating its intent not to close the tender nor its actual failure to close the tender offer does or will constitute an event of default under any of the Company’s warehouse facilities. Additionally, the Company has communicated with each of the warehouse credit providers and plans to continue to fund its mortgage loan originations. As previously disclosed, Accredited maintains committed warehouse facilities with a total capacity of $1.6 billion for U.S. loan originations and $150 million Canadian for Canada loan originations. Accredited remains open for business and is continuing to operate in the normal course and to fund mortgage loans in both the U.S. and Canada.
For its part, Lone Star issued its own brief response to the lawsuit this morning:
“… in light of the drastic deterioration in the financial and operational condition of the Company, among other things, the conditions to the closing of the tender offer for shares of Accredited would not be satisfied. Accordingly, Lone Star does not expect to be accepting Shares tendered as of the end of the current offer period, currently scheduled to close at 12:00 midnight, New York City time, on August 14, 2007. Lone Star believes the facts will fully support its position. Lone Star looks forward to presenting these facts in Delaware Court of Chancery.”
In other words: bring it on.