MELVILLE, N.Y. - North Fork Bancorp said Friday it would extend its exchange offer for shares of Dime Bancorp, the target of its $1.9 billion hostile takeover bid.

The extension, which was expected, will run through June 30. North Fork said in a statement that Dime's shareholders have tendered 12.5 million shares so far, about 10% of the total outstanding.

Dime shareholders are scheduled to convene at the company's annual meeting, on June 29. The company said last week that it had entered into preliminary negotiations with other potential bidders in what could lead to a "strategic transaction." North Fork has accused Dime's management of trying to avoid a sale.

North Fork also said it would solicit votes from Dime shareholders to withhold authority for Dime's director nominees.

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