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Pacific Capital Bancorp


has rallied more than 120% in April alongside other small-cap regional bank stocks, but its share price was cut in half Thursday after the bank announced plans to sell shares at a steep discount.

Pacific Capital Bancorp

said it will receive $500 million from the sale of 225 million shares to private-equity firm Ford Financial Fund at a price of 20 cents per share, a discount of 95% to Wednesday's closing price of $4.11.

Pacific Capital said it will also sell 455,000 shares of newly created preferred stock to Ford Financial at $1,000 per share. After the transactions, Ford will own approximately 91% of Pacific Capital's common stock on an as-converted basis.

Pacific Capital shares were lately down 50.6% to $2.03, although the stock is still 115% higher year-to-date. Share volume topped 13 million in the first hour of trading Thursday, well above the 50-day average daily share volume of 2.66 million. Currently, Pacific Capital has more than 46.7 million shares outstanding.

Elsewhere in the financial space,

E*Trade Financial

(ETFC) - Get E*TRADE Financial Corporation Report

said that two affiliates of Citadel Investments, its largest shareholder, are selling a total of 172 million shares of the company's common stock at $1.75 per share. The sale includes an over-allotment option for underwriters to purchase up to an additional 25.8 million shares of common stock.

E*Trade Financial

will not receive any proceeds from the proposed offering. Lately, E*Trade shares were down 7.1% to $1.71.

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(SNV) - Get Synovus Financial Corp. Report

shares were also under pressure after the company priced an offering of 255 million common shares at $2.75 per share, which will reap net proceeds of approximately $668.4 million. Synovus also priced 12 million tangible equity units at $25 each, generating net proceeds of approximately $290.1 million.

Lately, Synovus was down 4.1% to $3.05.

Columbia Banking System

(COLB) - Get Columbia Banking System, Inc. Report

said it will commence a $150 million offering of common stock, which will be used to address the bank's capital needs and to "support opportunistic growth." Columbia Banking said it will grant underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 15% of the shares sold to cover over-allotments, if any.

Columbia Banking shares were up 0.4% to $22.11, though, as the bank's first-quarter profit topped estimates.

Outside of the financial sector,


(SCOR) - Get comScore, Inc. Report

said its has filed a universal shelf registration statement to sell up to $100 million of various securities. comScore said it has no immediate plans to raise capital under the registration statement. In addition, comScore said selling stockholders will have the option to sell up to 4.5 million shares.

Like Columbia Banking, comScore shares were on the rise following first-quarter results, climbing 5.2% to $17.90.

China Agritech

( CAGC) said it will sell approximately 1.24 million shares of common stock at a price of $16.10 per share. Underwriters were granted a 45-day option to purchase up to an additional 186,450 shares to cover over-allotments, if any.

China Agritech said it will use net proceeds of $18.3 million to establish branded large-scale distribution centers. Shares were lately up 0.9% to $17.27.

Kansas City Southern

(KSU) - Get Kansas City Southern Report

said it will sell approximately 5.01 million shares of common stock at a price of $39 per share for net proceeds of approximately $186.8 million. Underwriters were granted a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 752,508 million shares to cover overallotments.

Kansas City Southern said net proceeds, along with $106.6 million of other available cash, will be used to reduce its debt principal amount by approximately $272.8 million. Shares were up 3.5% to $40.80.

Idenix Pharmaceuticals


said it will receive net proceeds of $26.2 million by selling 6.46 million shares of common stock at $4.35 per share. The stock was lately down 0.9% to $4.45. Currently, Idenix has more than 66.3 million shares on the market.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston


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