Amresco Inc. said that it has retained Goldman, Sachs & Co. to help it in its six-month struggle to find capital.
The Dallas-based lender said it has received proposals from several companies contemplating "significant transactions" but decided in late March not to accept any of them.
Amresco has been searching for funding since suffering a severe hedging loss in October. Its stock traded as low as $1.3125 a share in December, down from a 52-week high of $39.75.
In November it said it was seeking to sell all or part of its retail home equity division and that it would fire 375 employees to cut costs.
The company reported a $69 million loss for 1998.
In January, chief executive Robert H. Lutz Jr. said that Amresco would entertain any reasonable proposition that increased shareholder value.
The most recent announcement also makes it official that Amresco is for sale. In January, the company's stock price rose nearly 30% in one week on rumors that it would be bought.
Since then Amresco's stock has fallen to pre-rumor levels. The stock had fallen more than 10% by midday Monday on the news that it had retained Goldman Sachs and rebuffed existing proposals.
Mr. Lutz said in a statement that the company will "continue to review proposals as well as other strategic alternatives."
GE Capital Corp., Transamerica Corp., and General Motors Acceptance Corp. have been rumored to be interested in buying all or part of Amresco.
Amresco also said last Wednesday that it had closed a $142 million securitization without bond insurance, a rarity in recent months. Investors have shied away from asset-backed transactions without insurance since last year's crisis in the market for asset-backeds.
Amresco's recent securitization was backed by loans with a book value of more than $282 million. The bonds were rated BBB-plus, the company said.
The transaction is "an important component of the company's 1999 liquidity plan," Mr. Lutz said in a statement. The securitization increases Amresco's borrowing capacity under its bank facility by $100 million, he said.
The transaction will also "minimize" the impact of senior notes due in July and of short-term debt due in August, Mr. Lutz said.
This year Amresco said it had formed commercial mortgage lending partnerships with LaSalle National Bank and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and entered a servicing contract with Nomura Securities.