SAN FRANCISCO -- One day before going to market, Glenfed Inc. officials said they had lined up investors for the thrift company's $425 million recapitalization, lifting the immediate threat of a federal takeover.
On Thursday, the Glendale, Calif., thrift company is scheduled to carry out the most difficult parts of its massive reorganization effort: setting a price on a $175 million offering of convertible preferred stock and signing agreements with standby investors in a $250 million common stock rights offering.
Officials of the $17.9 billion-asset thrift company said on Wednesday they believed they had sufficient commitments from buyers to complete the two transaction.
"Were pretty confident," Richard A. Fink, a chief legal officer, said in an interview.
A Turnaround Play
More than two dozen investors, mainly mutual funds and partnerships, have agreed to be standby buyers in the rights offering at $9 a share, Mr. Fink said. Many have previously made big gains from other financial institution turnarounds, people familiar with the deal said.
The sources said the preferred offering, underwritten by First Boston Corp. and Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co., will also be fully subscribed.
Fidelity Select Home Finance fund manager David Ellison, one of the biggest buyers of thrift stock, said on Wednesday that he had not decided whether to take part in the offerings.
Nevertheless, he said, Glenfed "is going to do the deal."
If the offerings are successful and if other elements of the recapitalization fall into place, Glenfed will meet interim capital targets set by federal regulators.
That could pave the way for a remarkable comeback by an institution that many had written off as dead. And it would mark a personal triumph for Stephen J. Trafton, Glenfed's driven chairman and chief executive, who has fought against long odds to save the ailing company.
"This would be the biggest private rescue ever done of a troubled thrift," noted Allan G. Bortel, president of Dakin Securities, San Francisco.
Skeptics Point to Losses
Even at the last minute, however, some observers remained skeptical that the offerings would be fully subscribed. Glenfed, they point out, has posted operating losses for six consecutive quarters and economic recovery in California, the thrift's main market, is not in sight.
It is management's job "to be optimistic," said E. Gareth Plank, an analyst with Mabon Securities, San Francisco.
The federal Office of Thrift Supervision has given Glenfed until the end of August to complete its stock offerings.
On a pro forma basis, the recapitalization would boost the thrift's core and risk-based ratios to 4.81% and 9.67%, respectively, Mr. Fink said. That would be well above interim targets, of 4.5% and 9% that the thrift must meet by the end of September.