Cherry Hill Mortgage passes on potential sale


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Real estate investment trust Cherry Hill Mortgage Investment Corp. has opted not to sell any part of its business, but instead to internalize its management, it announced Tuesday.

Three months prior, the company was eyeing a number of “strategic alternatives” to maximize shareholder value, in light of sagging lending activity. These options included: a merger, sales of all or part of the company’s assets or “an internalization of the management of the company.”

With the help of an appointed committee, the REIT has opted to axe an agreement between itself and Cherry Hill Mortgage Management, owned by Stanley Middleman, CEO of Freedom Mortgage, and “take all steps necessary to begin operating the company as a fully integrated, internally managed mortgage REIT,” Cherry Hill said in a press release.

Despite this, the special committee is continuing to explore other alternatives, opening the door for a potential sale or merger in the future.

“There can be no assurance that the exploration of strategic alternatives will result in any transaction or other strategic outcome other than the internalization,” the REIT said. There is also no formal timetable for the committee to stop exploring strategic alternatives, the company added. 

Developments pertaining to the internalization or the “evaluation of strategic alternatives” will not be disclosed until they are fully completed, Cherry Hill said.

The REIT, which was originally launched as a publicly traded company in 2013 through a strategic alliance partnership with Freedom Mortgage, acquires, invests in and manages residential lending assets, including servicing rights and agency- and non agency-backed securities. 

Since its inception, the company has been led by CEO and President Jay Lown, who also sits on the board of directors. Also currently serving as independent directors on the Cherry Hill board are Sharon Lee Cook, Robert Mercer Jr. and Joseph Murin.

As of March 31, 2024, the company held $20 billion worth of unpaid balances within its book of mortgage servicing rights. Cherry Hill posted a net income of $9.7 million in the first quarter, after a $35.5 million loss in the fourth quarter of 2023.


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