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Carl Icahn Returns to Real Estate as Florida Homebuilder

Icahn-Controlled Cadus Corp. Buys First Two Properties in Florida
February 17, 2014
It’s been almost five years since renowned corporate raider Carl Icahn dabbled in residential home building when he was then a director and stockholder in WCI Communities Inc. prior to its bankruptcy reorganization.

But now, it appears Icahn has found a publicly-traded back door to invest in the rebounding Florida housing market.

This month, Cadus Corp., a former yeast-based and other drug discovery technologies firm that Icahn controls and has been dormant for five years, prepped itself to acquire some dormant real estate.

In a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, Cadus reported that it believes that there may be opportunities to profit from purchasing land and residential homes for construction or renovation and resale where real estate values are expected to increase.

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Cadus’ board began to explore such opportunities in Florida and now MB 2013 LLC, a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Cadus, purchased the company’s first two residential development sites in Florida, according to the filing.

One of the properties in Miami-Dade County was purchased for $3.45 million and the other for $2.2 million. No seller or exact property locations were identified.

As a result of the purchases, though, Cadus is no longer a shell company.

Cadus currently intends to concentrate its real estate acquisition, renovation and construction activities in Florida. While renovation or demolition may begin soon after an acquisition of a home is consummated, Cadus does not intend to begin construction of new homes until a number of properties intended for new home construction are acquired.

In some cases, the company said it may also acquire partially constructed or renovated homes for completion and resale or resell acquired homes or land without undertaking renovation or construction.

In its filing, the company said it believes that long-term fundamentals for home renovation and new home construction remain intact and the firm is encouraged by evidence of strengthening conditions in the housing market.

After several years of exceptionally weak demand for new and existing homes, the U.S. housing industry began to show some signs of improvement during fiscal 2012 followed by more solid and accelerated improvement during fiscal 2013. Single family average sales prices were up in most markets across the country during fiscal 2013.

Specifically, Florida’s housing market wrapped up 2013 with more closed sales, higher pending sales, higher median prices and a reduced inventory of homes for sale compared to the year before, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors.

“Throughout 2013, the state’s housing market has demonstrated it’s in a solid recovery and gaining strength,” 2014 Florida Realtors president Sherri Meadows, CEO and team leader, Keller Williams.

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