HORSHAM, Pa. - Advanta Corp. announced plans for a public offering of 2.5 million depository shares. The diversified financial services company said each share will represent a one-hundredth interest in a share of a new class of convertible preferred stock.

The preferred shares will be known as Stock Appreciation Income Linked Securities, or SAILS. They will pay cumulative preferred dividends and convert into shares of Advanta's Class B stock no later than four years from the date of issue.

Advanta said it anticipates that the offer price of the depository shares will be based on the closing market price of its Class B common stock on the pricing date.

Advanta has more than four million customers, mostly credit cardholders, and $10.6 billion in managed assets.

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