Officials from Citigroup have been inspecting the offices of Ameriquest Mortgage in California, and may be preparing to make a bid on the subprime giant, industry sources have told MortgageWire.One source said Citigroup sent a group of executives to Ameriquest's corporate offices in Orange, Calif., and to another location in Rancho Cucamonga. The source -- and another official -- said Citigroup may be eyeing Ameriquest's servicing unit, which has about $60 billion in receivables. Meanwhile, a hedge fund called Ellington Management out of Old Greenwich, Conn., has also expressed interested in Ameriquest, sources said, though it is unclear how serious it is about the company. A Citigroup spokesman said the bank does not comment on market rumors, and an Ameriquest spokesman said the same. Ellington could not be reached for comment. (For more details, see the Feb. 5 issue of National Mortgage News.)

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