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Alior shareholders authorize capital hike to finance Bank BPH buy

's shareholdersapproved the issue of new shares worth up to 2.2 billion Polish zlotys inpreparation for the lender to acquire the core business of Bank BPH SA.

Theshares will be issued in a public offering with pre-emptive rights for existingshareholders. The record date is May 23, and investors holding shares of the bankas of that date will be entitled to one pre-emptive right for each share theyhold.

Theratio of new shares available for each pre-emptive right will depend on thefinal number of shares to be issued in the offering, with further detailsregarding the issuance, including the final number of shares and the issueprice, will be announced following the approval and publication of theprospectus, the bank said May 5.

Alior'slargest shareholder, PZUSA, which holds a 25.19% stake in the bank, committed to subscribeto the planned capital increase on a pro-rata basis to its existingshareholding level. The bank said it also signed a standby underwritingagreement with a consortium of banks to underwrite the remainder of the capitalhike.

Newsagency PAP noted the same day that the standby agreement for 1.6 billion zlotyswas signed with Bank Zachodni WBK, Goldman Sachs International and J.P. MorganSecurities. Alior also entered into a 180-day lockup period from the date ofreceiving the funds from the rights issuance.

As of May 5, US$1 wasequivalent to 3.88 Polish zlotys.