May 14, 2013 / 11:15 PM / 5 years ago

Family that founded Mexico's Homex cuts stake in homebuilder

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The family that founded Homex, Mexico’s second-biggest homebuilder, has cut its stake in the company by more than a third in a month, according to a regulatory filing on Tuesday.

The filing, which comes as Homex is facing lawsuits in New York for failing to meet payments related to derivatives, shows the family is selling shares to meet loan obligations.

A spokeswoman for Homex last week told Reuters that the stock sales are for margin calls related to loans made to the de Nicolas family and they are not a matter for the company.

Sales of homes built by Homex, like those built by its larger rival Geo (GEOB.MX) and smaller peer Urbi (URBI.MX), have slumped and the three companies are facing heavy debt payments.

Tuesday’s filing shows the de Nicolas family’s Homex (HOMEX.MX) stake was trimmed to 19.23 percent on Tuesday from about 33 percent on April 14, by selling about $43.5 million in Homex’s U.S. listed shares HMX.N.

The spokeswoman declined to comment on the latest filing.

The filing shows that a trust for five members of the family, including Chief Executive Gerardo de Nicolas and Chairman Eustaquio de Nicolas, sold 1.7 million U.S. listed shares, equivalent to 11.2 million Mexican-listed shares, or 3.35 percent of its total stock outstanding, over seven days this month.

The family sold the shares to meet margin calls “related to loans disposed initially during October 2007 and 2008,” according to the latest filing.

The family also sold shares earlier this month and last month, filings show.


    Separately, Barclays and Credit Suisse are suing Homex for failing to meet payments related to derivative agreements, according to court filings in New York.

    In April, Homex failed to pay more than $1.7 million in collateral related to derivatives transactions that the company entered into in 2012, according to a court filing by Barclays on Thursday.

    Credit Suisse in a court filing earlier this month in New York said Homex failed to pay the Swiss bank $26.7 million to cancel a 2009 derivative agreement.

    The Swiss bank said Homex requested the cancellation after its April 16 downgrade by Fitch Ratings, which triggered a margin call under the agreement.

    Homebuilder Urbi is also facing lawsuits from banks for failing to make payments on loans and derivative positions.

    Reporting by Elinor Comlay; Editing by Richard Chang and Bob Burgdorfer

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