Synovus To Raise $350M in Stock Offer

Synovus Financial announces a plan to put $500M on its balance sheet.
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (TheStreet) -- Synovus Financial (SNV) - Get Report, which took about $1 billion in bailout funds under TARP, said it will raise a big chunk of that sum through a stock offering, a debt-for-equity swap and other measures.

In the most important part of the plan, the regional bank said it hopes to sell up to $350 million worth of common shares and then issue a further 50 million in exchange for the bank's 4.875% subordinated notes, due in 2013, in a tender offer.

Additional "balance sheet optimization initiatives" will increase its equity-to-assets ratio by another $100 million, Synovus said.

In a press release issued after Monday's closing bell, the bank said the moves were designed to give it a capital cushion in case of future financial shocks, raise money for possible acquisitions and help it pay back its TARP tab with the federal government.

Overall, the bank said the plan will boost its Tier 1 capital by about $400 million.

The company, which some analysts believe is facing

mounting foreclosures

in some of its real estate loan portfolios, will also pay a dividend of a penny a share.

Shares of Synovus rose sharply during Monday's regular session, adding 27 cents, or 7.7%, to $3.80. In after-hours trading, the stock retreated, however, giving up 20 cents, or 5.3%, to $3.60, as traders likely priced in dilution.

-- Written by Scott Eden in New York

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Scott Eden has covered business -- both large and small -- for more than a decade. Prior to joining, he worked as a features reporter for Dealmaker and Trader Monthly magazines. Before that, he wrote for the Chicago Reader, that city's weekly paper. Early in his career, he was a staff reporter at the Dow Jones News Service. His reporting has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Men's Journal, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, and the Believer magazine, among other publications. He's also the author of Touchdown Jesus (Simon & Schuster, 2005), a nonfiction book about Notre Dame football fans and the business and politics of big-time college sports. He has degrees from Notre Dame and Washington University in St. Louis.