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Hedge Fund Wants To Block Countrywide Deal

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Is Bank of America’s acquisition of Countrywide in trouble? You wouldn’t think so if you’re looking at the spread between where the shares of the two companies are trading. The spread between the shares and the offering price has narrowed dramatically in the last few days, from a high of nearly 25% to the current 15% gap.
But today the Monaco-based hedge fund SRM Global Fund filed a 13D complaining that the merger plan does not deliver “sufficient value” to Countrywide shareholders. SRM has acquired a 5.19% stake in Countrywide.
Most commentary on the deal has focused on whether Bank of America might back out. It has been described as a “bailout” and Bank of America’s role as that of a “White Knight.” The idea that Countrywide’s shareholders would balk at the deal comes as a surprise.
SRM seems to specialize in troubled home lenders. They also have a major stake in Northern Rock.
Countrywide merger criticized, BoA names mortgage exec [Reuters]