Radian Group (RDN) ended up in a public exchange with a major investor after The Clinton Group, one of its key shareholders, released a letter sent to Radian's board, asking members to disclose information on Radian's current exposure to mortgage insurance claims.
The Clinton Group also asked for financial guarantee books and information on private equity firms and potential strategic buyers who might be interested in submitting bids for the mortgage insurer.
In response, Radian said it is committed to growing its business through the writing of new insurance while managing its existing portfolio. The Clinton Group's letter suggested there is a degree of uncertainty about whether the insurer is capitalized for its current risk levels.
Radian responded saying its "board of directors is fully aware of its fiduciary duties and is committed to always acting in the best interests of all stockholders. It is Radian’s general policy not to respond to rumors about the company, including the purported expressions of interest referenced in the Clinton letter."
Rob Haines, a mortgage insurance analyst with CreditSights, was not entirely surprised by the note from The Clinton Group.
Since early last year, Haines has been studying capital and liquidity levels at certain mortgage insurers.
"For companies that are operating with such a high degree of leverage and low credit ratings it's very difficult to see how an equity investor gets comfortable with a company like Radian," he said. "Clinton does own a large position so I think their push for more disclosure is legitimate. At this point if I was a holder I would also be pushing for a sale. If there is a buyer willing to step up that would be a best case scenario for an equity holder."