Lennar is planning a $275 million stock offering, according to a notice filed April 20 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The document says Lennar plans to use the proceeds for "working capital and general corporate purposes," which may include paying back debt and acquisitions. It also could be used to buy an interest in LandSource Communities Development.
As part of a plan to reorganize LandSource, which is under Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection, Lennar has submitted a nonbinding proposal to pay $140 million for 15% of the reorganized LandSource, out-right ownership of some of its assets, and to settle any liabilities Lennar may have in the company. Lennar now owns 16% of LandSource.
Lennar also had the right to buy as much as 10% more of the company by April 15 for $55 million, but it did not exercise that right, a LandSource attorney said.
Lennar's stock was trading down more than 17% at $7.74 early Monday afternoon amid a broad-based selloff in the market that took the builder group with it. Like many home builders, the last year has been volatile, ranging from a high of $20.94 in May '08 to a low of $3.42 in November '08.
Lennar is one of only a few builders to issue stock in the current market. K. Hovnanian and Standard Pacific Homes are two others, and both were in cash straits. Lennar has more than $1 billion in cash in its coffers.
Company officials did not immediately return calls and e-mails seeking more information about the reasons behind the offering. Lennar had said it plans to be acquisitive during the downturn. CEO Stuart Miller has also said it is developing relationships to create a company that would buy and hold land at the bottom of the market that would provide Lennar with an off-book land supply source.