Opteum Inc. said today that it has completed the previously-announced sale of its retail origination platform -- what's eye popping here, though, is the stunning drop in the value of the deal. Opteum had originally pegged the deal at $5 million, an amount I noted in May was indicative of a fire sale (the company at the time had 230 loan officers, although it's unclear how many it has now). The final deal price? $1.5 million -- a stunning 70 percent drop in deal value from what was announced in May. (Wow.) For its part, Opteum looks to be glad just to have this chapter in its history closed, whatever the price:
Commenting on the transaction, Jeffrey J. Zimmer, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Opteum Inc., said, “Although the purchase price was less than we originally expected, we are pleased to announce that, with the consummation of this transaction, we have completely exited the mortgage loan origination business.� Mr. Zimmer continued, “OFS has been a significant drain on our earnings and we will now focus our energies on managing and growing our RMBS portfolio as we restore our profitability. We will also continue to own OFS's residual interests in securitizations and mortgage servicing rights. However, we may seek to sell all or a portion of these assets depending on market conditions.�
The company also noted the departure of Peter Norden, who had overseen capital markets activities while the company had a mortgage origination business. (There's not much need for that sort of work when the company you work for has exited the origination business.)