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Guaranty Financial Gets $600M of New Backing

By Amy Wolff Sorter
Wednesday, July 23, 2008 -  AUSTIN, TX-Guaranty Financial Group Inc.'s private placement transactions with TRT Financial Holdings LLC, Icahn Capital LP and other investors has closed, resulting in total gross proceeds of about $600 million. The financial institution could raise an additional $150 million in a rights offering with shareholders.
"We are happy that we were able to help structure and participate in Guaranty raising $600 million of capital," Carl Icahn, chairman of New York City-based Icahn Capital LP, says in a press release. "This investment helps to strengthen Guaranty's balance sheet and position them more strongly to navigate through the current credit cycle and capitalize on opportunities in the future." Guaranty Financial is the country's second largest publicly traded financial services holding company and one of the 50 largest publicly traded financial services companies based in the US in terms of asset size.

A spokesman declined to tell much more than what was in the release, but acknowledges the private placement transactions and rights offering were conducted to improve the company's capital ratios, including its commercial lending till. "We were well-capitalized before the infusion," he adds, "these actions just take it beyond those standards."

Guaranty entered into the private placement transactions by issuing 5.54 million shares of convertible preferred cumulative preferred stock at $51.70 per share, for an aggregate purchase price of nearly $287 million. A separate purchase agreement focused on subordinated debt issued by Guaranty Bank and, in the aggregate, 638,000 shares of convertible preferred stock at a $275-million purchase price. Once approved by Guaranty's stockholders, the convertible preferred stock can be exercised, with one share of the stock immediately being converted to 10 shares of Guaranty's common stock.

The spokesman says the rights offerings was set to expire in mid-July, but has been extended until Aug. 29 to allow shareholders to receive Guaranty's second-quarter earnings. The results will be released July 31.

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