Mortgage Malaise IPO: Hatteras Financial Corp.

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Hatteras Financial Corp., a REIT, or a real estate investment trust, submitted an IPO filing this morning. The proposed maximum aggregate amount in securities is listed as $200 million, although this number is for filing purposes only. The underwriter is listed as Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. Hatteras has applied to trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

Hatteras is externally managed by Atlantic Capital Advisors, LCC, and was formed in September 2007 to invest solely in agency securities, or “adjustable-rate and hybrid adjustable-rate single-family mortgage pass-through securities guaranteed by a U.S. Government agency.” In November 2007, they generated $157.1 million through a private offering and in February generated $158.8 million in a second private offering. The company intends to leverage its capital primarily through short-term borrowings because they believe that it will reduce the impact of changes in the interest rate. They believe that the current situation in the housing market and the low interest rates provide an opportunity to earn a strong return for shareholders. As of December 31, 2007, their portfolio had a weighted average market value of $1.6 billion.

Hatteras intends to capitalize on the infrastructure, business network, and experience of its manager, Atlantic Capital Advisors. Hatteras and Atlantic’s CEO, Michael R. Hough, is also the CEO of ACM Financial Trust, a private REIT.

Hatteras joins an assortment of what appears to mortgage vultures that are emerging to capitalize on the disarray of the current mortgage markets.  We have been pounding the table on the Annaly Capital Management (NYSE: NLY) spin-off Chimera Corp. (NYSE: CIM) even before they came public as having the right expertise and model for pulling this off.  The Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX) has also made its vulture ventures known.  Octavian recently went vulture too, although this was on an international scope.  Even hedge fund Marathon announced plans to go vulture investing with TCW Group. Recently, MFResidential Investments submitted a fairly similar IPO filing.

Rachel Lopez
February 20, 2008