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Tuesday, October 21, 2014         

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Central Pacific secures $195M cash infusion

The bank must raise another $130 million and complete a stock conversion

By Dave Segal

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Central Pacific Financial Corp., under pressure from federal and state regulators to improve its capital position amid staggering losses, has reached definitive agreements with The Carlyle Group and Anchorage Capital Group LLC for a combined $195 million infusion that brings the Honolulu-based bank significantly closer to its goal of raising $325 million.

The state's fourth-largest bank in terms of assets said it expects to raise the additional capital in the first quarter and conduct a 1-for-20 reverse stock split at the time the capital raise closes. The approximate $98 million each in common stock that The Carlyle Group and Anchorage Capital Group are purchasing at 75 cents a share is contingent on the parent of Central Pacific Bank being able to raise an additional $130 million to reach the full $325 million, as well as the bank receiving regulatory approvals and getting the U.S. Department of the Treasury to convert its $135 million in higher-value preferred stock in Central Pacific to common stock. The two lead investors also will be entitled to one seat on the board of directors.

In addition, the bank plans to conduct a $20 million rights offering after the closing of the capital raise that will allow current shareholders or their transferees to buy shares of stock also at 75 cents -- the same price as the investors. The Carlyle Group and Anchorage Capital will own 24.9 percent of the bank's stock prior to that offering.

Central Pacific's stock closed yesterday up 3 cents at $1.48 on the New York Stock Exchange.

"This is a huge step forward for us in recapitalizing the bank," said John Dean, executive chairman of Central Pacific.

He said the bank has received "firm expressions of interest" from other investors for the balance of the capital raise and that company officials will go back on the road again over the next several weeks looking to fill out the offering. He said the bank will be looking for investors to separately put in up to $18 million, or 4.9 percent of the common stock.

"To have not one, but two lead investors brings a lot of credibility to our offering," Dean said.

Analyst Joe Gladue of B. Riley & Co. agreed that landing the two lead investors should help the bank raise the rest of the capital.

"It makes it easier, not that it's going to be easy," Gladue said. "These investments will firm up their capital positions and give them time to address their other problems, particularly the asset quality issues."

Central Pacific reported Tuesday that it lost $72.5 million in the third quarter, bringing its nine-month loss to $248.9 million.

"The money (from the capital raise) is going to reposition the bank to become an active and strong participant along with other financial institutions in the community," Dean said. "We want to get back to the basics, which is exiting the mainland (loan business) and focusing on our franchise, which is the Hawaiian community."






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