HOUSTON (AP) ¿ Stewart Information Services Corp., a real estate information and title insurance provider, on Friday said it priced its private offering of $60 million of 6 percent convertible senior notes due 2014.

Stewart also granted the initial buyer of the notes a 30-day option to buy up to an additional $5 million of the notes.

The notes will pay interest semiannually at a rate of 6 percent beginning on April 15. The notes are convertible into shares of Stewart's common shares at a conversion rate of 77.6398 shares per $1,000 of notes, equal to a conversion price of $12.88 per share.

The conversion price represents a 25 percent premium above Stewart's Thursday closing price of $10.30.

Stewart expects the net proceeds from the offering to total $57.5 million, or about $62.3 million if the initial buyer's option is fully exercised. Stewart plans to use the proceeds and existing cash on hand to pay down $60.5 million of outstanding bank debt.
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