MADISON, Wis., Nov. 5, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin Inc. (Nasdaq:ABCW) (Anchor) today announced that it has entered into a shareholder rights plan designed to reduce the likelihood that Anchor will experience an "ownership change" under U.S. federal income tax laws. This plan is similar to rights plans adopted by other public companies with significant tax attributes.

The purpose of the rights plan is to protect Anchor's ability to use its tax assets, such as net operating loss carryforwards and built-in losses, to offset future taxable income, which would be substantially limited if Anchor experienced an "ownership change" as defined under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code and related Internal Revenue Service pronouncements. In general, an ownership change would occur if Anchor's "5-percent shareholders," as defined under Section 382, collectively increase their ownership in Anchor by more than 50 percentage points over a rolling three-year period.

As part of the plan, the Anchor Board of Directors declared a dividend of one preferred share purchase right for each outstanding share of its common stock. The rights will be distributable to shareholders of record as of November 22, 2010, as well as to holders of shares of Anchor common stock issued after that date, but would only be activated if triggered by the plan.

"Strategically, this plan is designed to safeguard considerable tax attributes embedded in the company by reducing the likelihood of an unintended 'ownership change' through any third party actions involving Anchor common stock," said Chris Bauer, Chief Executive Officer of Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin Inc. "This is a critical aspect of preserving the value of Anchor as it seeks to raise capital," added Bauer.

Additional information regarding the rights plan will be contained in a Form 8-K and in a Registration Statement on Form 8-A that Anchor is filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.