California Federal Bank plans to offer its shareholders an opportunity to benefit from any windfall resulting from a pending lawsuit against the federal government, but the actual payout per share is likely to be small.

CalFed, which is based in Los Angeles, said Tuesday it had filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to issue a new security to its shareholders. Under the plan, one "goodwill participation certificate" will be issued for every 10 shares, allowing the holder of record to receive a portion of the cash proceeds, if any, from the litigation.

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