Treasury announces bank warrant auction

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The Treasury Department says this week it will auction off warrants it received from Boston Private Financial Holdings Inc., the latest effort to recoup the costs of the $700 billion financial bailout.

The sale of 2.89 million warrants from the Boston-based financial institution will take place on Tuesday with the results announced Wednesday, Treasury said. It set a minimum bid price of $1.40 per warrant.

Boston Financial received $154 million in support in November 2008. It repaid back $50 million in January 2010 and the remaining $104 million last June. Sales of the warrants will sever the company’s remaining ties with the government bailout effort.

Purchase of the warrants gives the holder the right to buy Boston Financial common stock at a fixed price. Purchase of the warrants will give the holder the right to buy Boston Financial common stock at $8 per share through November 2018.

Boston Financial stock closed at $6.72 on Friday and over the past 52 weeks it has traded in a range of $4.67 to $8.97.

Last week, the government received $312.2 million from the sale of warrants it held in Citigroup. The bank received $45 billion bailout at the height of the financial crisis.

In addition to the sale of warrants in Citigroup and Boston Financial, Treasury has also said it will sell warrants during the first quarter of this year that it holds in Wintrust Financial Corp., which is based in Lake Forest, Ill.

– Associated Press