Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tousa (Newmark Homes), Bankrupt Homebuilder, Lays Off 60 Employees in Austin

Homebuilder TOUSA Inc. is laying off 63 employees in Austin and 219 statewide as the bankrupt company stops building new homes and continues to downsize.

Hollywood, Fla.-based TOUSA, which operates in Austin under the Newmark Homes brand, said in a letter to the Texas Workforce Commission that it will "wind down its current business operations" in coming months.
The letter said the first layoffs will happen in May, with the rest staggered through the remainder of the year.
TOUSA (TOUSQ) has been in bankruptcy since January 2008. The company said in a recent statement that it would stop building new homes and focus on selling its remaining inventory of speculative homes and its land holdings.

Customers with homes under construction “can be assured that their homes will be completed,” the company said in a news release.

“While the market environment has impaired our ability to maintain our historical operating platform, we will continue to build out homes and sell our existing inventory during this process," CEO John Boken said in the release. The process, he said, would continue for “a few years.”

The homebuilder was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange on May 13, 2008.
In a public filing March 19, the company said it would attempt to get its hands on as much money as it could through the bulk sale of land and homes.
“The housing market has continued to deteriorate significantly since June, and we have not yet completed the analysis and processes required for the preparation of our quarterly report … for the period ended Sept. 30, 2008,” the filing said.

For the three-month and six-month periods ended June 30, 2008, TOUSA reported a loss from continuing operations, net of taxes, of $379.1 million and $661.8 million, respectively, compared with $122.1 million and $184.3 million, respectively, for the same periods in 2007.
The company said it was continuing to implement “strategies to aid our liquidity and our ability to continue as a going concern.”

However, the company noted in its public filing that it might not be successful.

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