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Treasury consents to Sterling terms

The U.S. Treasury will accept a steep markdown of its investment in Sterling Financial Corp. as part of a recapitalization plan, the Spokane company announced today.

The markdown was a condition imposed by Thomas H. Lee Partners, which has committed $134.7 million to Sterling's recapitalization.

Treasury in November 2008 invested $303 million from the Troubled Asset Relief Program in Sterling.

According to the terms of the agreement with Sterling and Lee, Treasury will get $75.8 million worth of common shares as payback, plus 6.4 million warrants to purchase shares at 20 cents apiece.

The warrants will be good for 10 years.

Sterling must raise a total $720 million in new capital to offset losses on its real estate and construction loans.


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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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