Thornburg Sells $21 Billion of Mortgage Assets at a Loss; Plans Return to ‘Business As Usual’

Thornburg Mortgage Inc. said this morning that it has sold off $21 billion in mortgage assets as part of a bid to raise cash and resume normal operations; the sale will generate a loss of $930 million, according to a press statement released this morning, although Thornburg had already reserved $700 million for such losses previously. From the press statement:

In light of the dramatic reduction in the company’s mortgage portfolio over the past week, the company is not yet prepared to offer earnings or dividend guidance regarding the amount of any future dividends beyond the September 17, 2007 distribution that has already been declared. However, the company did sell most of its lowest yielding and negative spread assets as part of these asset sales and expects to remain profitable on an operating basis in the third quarter …

The move removes much of the company’s previous associated exposure to the margin calls that had beseiged the ultra-high end lender in recent weeks, company president Larry Goldstone said. No word has surfaced yet on the purchaser, but it’s exactly these sort of purchases that outfits like KKR and Goldman Sachs have said in recent weeks that they are targeting. Thornburg also said it plans to begin funding loans, including jumbo ARMS, within the next two weeks.

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