The Treasury Department has launched a public offering for the 1.6 million warrants for common equity it received from Wintrust Financial Corp. in Lake, Forest, Ill., under the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

The Treasury said in a press release Monday that it had set the minimum bid price at $13.50 each. The $14 billion-asset Wintrust said in a prospectus filed Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the warrants had an exercise price of $22.82 a share. The Dutch auction is set to begin Tuesday.

Wintrust redeemed its $250 million of Tarp funds in December. On Monday the company's stock rose 1% to close at $33.65 a share.

The Treasury has launched similar auctions with larger banks and last week said it expected to receive $6.2 million from selling warrants in Boston Private Financial Holdings Inc.

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