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Sterling adopts rights plan

Sterling Financial Corp. has implemented a shareholder rights plan to protect tax assets accumulated as it reported substantial operating and capital losses in recent quarters.

The assets, $269 million, can be used to offset an equal amount of future profits. But, said Vice President Dave Brukardt, their value could be lost or diminished if non-institutional investors that each own five percent of Sterling common stock build their collective position by more than 50 percent within three years.

Unlike most rights plans, Sterling's is not intended to be a defense against a hostile takeover, he said.

Brukardt said the rights plan was adopted as part or Sterling's ongoing recapitalization plan, which calls for $650 million in new financing.

Sterling has suffered severe losses on loans backing real estate development in the Northwest and California.

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Bert Caldwell
Bert Caldwell oversees production of the opinion pages, including writing editorials, and editing and selecting letters, columns and cartoons.




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