Colonial/TBW Deal A Go, Says Farkas

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A Taylor, Bean & Whitaker-led rescue of Colonial Bancgroup -- the nation's largest warehouse lender -- was set to be finalized by Friday evening, according to TBW chairman Lee Farkas. In an interview with National Mortgage News Mr. Farkas said "it looks like it's going to go through, yes." TBW is waiting on final signed documents from some of its partners. He noted that Colonial was preparing a press release about the deal and that TBW's other investors in the $300 million capital infusion would be revealed. With the cash infusion finalized, Colonial will then be eligible for $550 million in Troubled Asset Relief Funds from the Treasury Department. At the end of March Colonial was the nation's largest warehouse provider with $4 billion in commitments, according to NMN. Mr. Farkas likely will sit on Colonial's board. He noted that the bank will most definitely continue as a warehouse provider. "It's a good business for them," he said. "They made good money on it last year." Colonial also is a warehouse lender to TBW, the nation's eighth largest residential funder, according to the Quarterly Data Report. Over the past few weeks some analysts that follow the bank raised concerns that the deal might not go through. The Alabama-based bank reported a net loss of $168 million for the quarter ended March 31. Late this past week its shares were trading at $1.36 compared to a 52-week high of $10. It has been burned by a severe downturn in the commercial construction lending, especially in the southeast.

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