ASHEVILLE, N.C., Sept. 25, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HomeTrust Bancshares, Inc. (the "Company") (Nasdaq:HTBI) announced today that its Board of Directors has adopted a Tax Benefits Preservation Plan (the "Plan") designed to preserve substantial tax assets. The Plan is similar to tax benefits preservation plans adopted by other public companies with significant tax attributes. The Company's tax attributes include net operating losses that could be utilized in certain circumstances to offset taxable income and reduce its federal income tax liability. Although the Plan is now in effect, the Company intends to seek shareholder approval of the Plan at its first annual meeting of shareholders. The Company's ability to use its tax attributes would be substantially limited if an "ownership change" occurred, as defined under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code and its implementing regulations. In general, an ownership change would occur if the Company's "5-percent shareholders," as defined under Section 382, collectively increase their ownership in the Company by more than 50 percentage points over a rolling three-year period. Five-percent shareholders generally do not include certain institutional holders, such as mutual fund companies that hold the Company's equity securities on behalf of several individual mutual funds where no single fund owns 5 percent or more of the Company's equity securities. As part of the Plan, the Company's Board of Directors declared a dividend of one preferred stock purchase right for each outstanding share of Company common stock. The rights will be distributable to shareholders of record as of October 9, 2012, as well as to holders of common stock issued after that date, but would only be activated if triggered under the Plan and will not trade separately from the Company's common stock unless and until triggered. The Company's Board of Directors has the discretion to exempt certain purchases of Company securities from the provisions of the Plan. The Plan generally may be terminated by the Company's Board of Directors at any time prior to the rights being triggered and will be in effect for three years if not terminated sooner under the terms of the Plan.