PHH Hires Advisors to Explore Strategic Alternatives

PHH Corp. said it is exploring its "strategic options" and has hired Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC and JPMorgan as financial advisors for the process, the company said in a press release on Wednesday.

"In light of changing industry and regulatory dynamics impacting our business, the board and management have decided to undertake a comprehensive review of all strategic options, including capital allocation alternatives, to maximize shareholder value," said James O. Egan, who is chairman of the Mount Laurel, N.J.-based company.

PHH posted a full-year 2015 loss of $145 million and a fourth-quarter loss of $54 million; this compares to a profit of $81 million for all of 2014 and a loss of $33 million in that year's fourth quarter.

Jones Day has been hired by the company as its legal advisor, while the board has hired Latham & Watkins as its legal advisor.

During its recent conference call the company announced it was ending its retail mortgage branch growth plans, with the exception of the PHH Home Loans joint venture with Realogy. However, CEO Glen Messina said on the call that PHH Corp. was willing to acquire other mortgage lenders and set aside $150 million to support that effort.

On the compliance front, PHH is fighting a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau order to pay a $109 million fine regarding alleged Real Estate Settlement Procedure Act violations involving marketing services agreements.

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