Allied Irish Banks PLC on Tuesday said it is in talks with a "strategic investor" as one way to raise capital.

AIB group Managing Director Colm Doherty said Tuesday in an analyst conference call that he was considering all options to raise capital: including assets or business sales, a rights issue, debt exchange or — as a last resort — going back to the government for a capital injection.

Among its holdings, AIB has acquired a 23.2% stake in M&T Bank Corp. after its 2003 merger with AIB's U.S. Allfirst unit and has a 70.5% share in Bank Zachodni/WBK of Poland. Doherty said Poland is the "jewel" in the bank's portfolio, but he did not say whether the bank would be prepared to sell it.

Alan Kelly, general manager of corporate services, told Dow Jones Newswires that AIB does not intend to go back to the Irish taxpayer until it has looked at "self-help options." He said, "We're not ruling anything out." Kelly said the strategic investor is interested in a partnership with AIB. "It's an institution or a trade player," he said, not a private-equity house.

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