Bimini and Opteum sign definitive agreement to mergeMortgagePress.comBimini,Opteum,mortgage Bimini Mortgage Management Inc., a real estate investment trust that invests primarily in residential mortgage-related securities, has signed a definitive merger agreement with Opteum Financial Services, a privately held home mortgage lender headquartered in Paramus, N.J. With nearly 1,000 associates operating out of 30 offices and lending in 44 states, Opteum expects to originate or acquire approximately $7.4 billion in mortgage loans for the fiscal year ending Nov. 30. The transaction, in which Opteum will become a subsidiary of Bimini, is expected to close in November 2005 and is subject to customary closing conditions. Bimini expects the transaction will be accretive to earnings in 2006 and beyond. Commenting on the agreement, Jeffrey J. Zimmer, Bimini chairman, co-founder, president and CEO, said, "This transaction represents an excellent opportunity for both companies. From our standpoint, we are diversifying our revenue stream while remaining in our area of expertise--the residential mortgage market. At the same time, we are establishing a broader base for future growth. We have known members of Opteum's management team for a number of years and believe they are among the best and most experienced in the home mortgage business. We are excited about the opportunity to commit capital to them as all of our shareholders will benefit." Peter R. Norden, chairman, co-founder, president and CEO of Opteum Financial Services, added, "We believe this transaction offers an excellent opportunity for our company and our associates on many fronts. The management team at Bimini is highly regarded for their in-depth knowledge of mortgage-backed securities, their liquidity management skills, their capital markets expertise and their commitment to the application of best practices and low-cost operations. We can continue to grow as opportunities present themselves as part of this very well run, publicly held company and attract capital at more favorable rates. That in turn will create new jobs and improved opportunities for our existing associates." Management Jeffrey J. Zimmer will continue as chairman, president and CEO of Bimini. Peter R. Norden will continue as chairman, president and CEO of Opteum and will become senior executive vice president and a director of Bimini. Robert E. Cauley, currently CFO and chief investment officer of Bimini, will become vice chairman of the board of Bimini Mortgage Management Inc. Martin J. Levine, co-founder of Opteum, will continue in his role as COO of Opteum. Rick E. Floyd, an Opteum shareholder, shall continue in his role as head of all origination and production operations. Jason Kaplan, who represents the family that provided a major portion of Opteum's financing, will join the Bimini board for a one-year term. For more information, visit www.opteum.com or www.biminireit.com.