First BanCorp Shares Pop on Buyout Offer

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico ( TheStreet) -- Shares of First BanCorp ( FBP) were up 11% to 30 cents in afternoon trading Monday, after the company's management rejected an unsolicited buyout offer from Doral Financial ( DRL), which is also headquartered in San Juan.

First BanCorp said on Monday in a press release that it was rejecting an offer it received in a letter from Doral, proposing an exchange of stock that would value the company's shares at a price of 30 cents.

CEO and chairman Aurelio Alemán said that First BanCorp's board of directors felt that it was "in the best interest of the Corporation and its stockholders to continue the execution of our previously announced capital plan, including the raising of $350 million of common equity in a public offering and the conversion into common stock of the Series G Preferred Stock, held by the U.S. Treasury."

On Friday, First BanCorp announced on Thursday that the U.S. Treasury Department had lowered the company's required common equity raise to $350 million from $500 million. After that capital is raised, the company will be able to exchange $400 million in preferred shares held by the government for bailout assistance received through the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP, to common shares.

First BanCorp was recently included with a detailed analysis in TheStreet's 10 High-Volume Bank Stocks with Upside.

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-- Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla.

Philip W. van Doorn is a member of TheStreet's banking and finance team, commenting on industry and regulatory trends. He previously served as the senior analyst for TheStreet.com Ratings, responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to banks and savings and loan institutions. Mr. van Doorn previously served as a loan operations officer at Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Fla., and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, where he monitored banks in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Mr. van Doorn has additional experience in the mutual fund and computer software industries. He holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Long Island University.

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