With $1.6 billion of debt securities outstanding, Technical Olympic USA (TOUSA), No. 13 in the 2006 BUILDER 100, announced Wednesday in a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing that the Hollywood, Fla., public builder has retained financial advisory and asset management firm Lazard Fréres & Co.

TOUSA, which operates in Florida, Texas, the West, and Mid-Atlantic regions, said in a statement that the company will continue to focus on its current financial strategy.

"We continue to execute on our previously announced asset management initiatives and remain focused on our financial strategy of generating cash, reducing cash outflows, and decreasing our leverage," said Antonio B. Mon, TOUSA's CEO. "By retaining Lazard, we are broadening our perspectives on our asset management initiatives, as well as examining our capital structure for a longer-term solution to enhance TOUSA's value for its stakeholders."

According to the SEC filing, Lazard Fréres & Co. will "conduct a comprehensive review of TOUSA's capital structure and assist TOUSA in executing its asset management strategy."

In a SEC filing last week, the home builder announced that it was withdrawing all 2007 and 2008 earnings guidance due to "severe liquidity challenges in the credit and mortgage markets, diminished consumer confidence, increased home inventories and foreclosures, and downward pressure on home prices."

On Aug. 9, TOUSA reported second-quarter losses of $132 million, which dwarfed its $66 million losses from the first quarter.

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