Merchants Bancshares, Inc. Announces Special Dividend


first_imgMerchants Bancshares, Inc. Announces Special Dividend and TrustPreferred Securities IssuanceSOUTH BURLINGTON, VT – The Board of Directors of Merchants Bancshares, Inc.(NASDAQ: MBVT), the parent company of Merchants Bank, today declared a specialcash dividend of $4.50 per share payable December 17, 2004 to shareholders of record asof the close of business on December 10, 2004. The total amount of this special dividendwill be approximately $28.10 million. After looking at several alternatives, MerchantsBoard of Directors has determined that the lower tax rates on dividends provide anopportunity for Merchants to return capital to its shareholders in the form of a specialdividend in a simple, fair and transparent process. Merchants has decided to moveforward with a special dividend as the optimal capital management alternative. Merchantswill remain well capitalized under applicable regulatory guidelines after the specialdividend. Merchants hereby notifies participants in its dividend reinvestment plan that itis temporarily suspending its dividend reinvestment plan, effective as of the date hereofthrough December 18, 2004, in order to permit payment of the special dividend. Alldividend payments will be made in the form of a check.Merchants also plans to participate in a private placement of $20 million of trustpreferred securities, through a newly formed Delaware statutory trust affiliate ofMerchants. The transaction will be part of a pooled trust preferred program. Keefe,Bruyette & Woods, Inc. and FTN Financial Capital Markets, a division of FirstTennessee Bank, N.A., will serve as placement agents in the offering. These hybridsecurities are expected to qualify as regulatory capital for Merchants, up to certainregulatory limits. At the same time they are considered debt for tax purposes, and as such,interest payments are fully deductible. While trust preferred securities have been aregulatory capital funding option for bank holding companies since 1996, there has beenno prior time period where an equivalent level of relative cost effectiveness has existedversus alternative funding options. Upon issuance, the trust preferred securities will bearinterest at a fixed rate for five years, and after five years, the rate will adjust quarterly.The trust preferred securities mature on December 31, 2034, and are redeemable at theCompanys option beginning after five years from issuance. The proceeds from the saleof the trust preferred securities will be used for general corporate purposes, allowingMerchants to pay the special dividend, and at the same time continuing to pursuealternative growth opportunities.Merchants estimates that the payment of the dividend and the issuance of the trustpreferred securities will reduce 2005 net interest income on an after tax basis byapproximately $1.06 million, or approximately 17 cents per share.Mr. Joseph Boutin, President and Chief Executive Officer and Ms. Janet Spitler, ChiefFinancial Officer, will host a conference call to discuss this special dividend payment anddebt issuance at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Friday, December 3, 2004. Interested partiesmay participate in the conference call by dialing (888) 428-4480, the title of the call isSpecial Dividend Conference Call for Merchants Bancshares, Inc. Participants are askedto call in a few minutes prior to the call in order to register. A replay will be availablethrough December 17, 2004. The U.S. replay dial-in number is (800) 475-6701. Theinternational replay dial-in number is (320) 365-3844. The replay access code, regardlessof dial-in location, is 759060.The mission of Merchants Bank is to provide best-in-class community banking servicesin the state of Vermont. This commitment is fulfilled through a community, branch-based,system that includes 35 bank offices throughout Vermont, employees dedicated toquality customer service, and innovative banking products such as Free Checking forLife ®, MoneyLYNX ® money market accounts, and CommerceLYNX ® business bankingproducts. Merchants Bank also includes a trust and investment division, known asMerchants Trust Company, serving individuals and institutions. For more informationabout Merchants Bank visit our website at www.mbvt.com(link is external). Merchants stock is traded onthe NASDAQ National Market system under the symbol MBVT. Member FDIC.Some of the statements contained in this press release constitute forward-lookingstatements. Forward-looking statements relate to expectations, beliefs, projections, futureplans and strategies, anticipated events or trends and similar expressions concerningmatters that are not historical facts. The forward-looking statements reflect Merchantscurrent views about future events and are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions andchanges in circumstances that may cause Merchants actual results to differ significantlyfrom those expressed in any forward-looking statement. Forward-looking statementsshould not be relied on since they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties andother factors that are, in some cases, beyond Merchants control and which couldmaterially affect actual results. The factors that could cause actual results to differmaterially from current expectations include changes in general economic conditions inVermont, changes in interest rates, changes in competitive product and pricing pressuresamong financial institutions within Merchants markets, and changes in the financialcondition of Merchants borrowers. The forward-looking statements contained hereinrepresent Merchants judgment as of the date of this report, and Merchants cautionsreaders not to place undue reliance on such statements. For further information, pleaserefer to Merchants reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.last_img read more

West Ham winger Michail Antonio grabs rare chance to impress against Stoke


first_img The winger had made just a handful of substitute appearances for the Hammers since his £7million summer switch from Nottingham Forest. Even co-chairman David Gold appeared to have forgotten about Antonio, mistakenly retweeting a picture of him after an internet prankster appealed for information on a ‘missing friend’. “We hit the post with Mauro Zarate as well, so we definitely have the attacking threat, it’s just putting it in the back of the net.” Zarate rattled the post with 10 minutes remaining, shortly after Stoke’s Marko Arnautovic was denied by the woodwork with a deflected free-kick. City were without injured playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri but boss Mark Hughes hopes he will be fit to face Crystal Palace next weekend. “He’s had a little bit of discomfort in his hamstring for a couple of weeks now, and a scan showed a bit of damage at the bottom of his hamstring,” said Hughes. “So we erred on the side of safety, we have a busy period coming up and we felt if he misses one game then hopefully he he will be okay for next week.” Press Association But amidst an injury crisis at Upton Park, Antonio was handed his first start against Stoke and grabbed his opportunity with an all-action display in the goalless draw. “Michail did really well,” said manager Slaven Bilic. “He worked hard and has been waiting for his chance. Now he has got it and he used it really well. “Sometimes it is hard for a player to come in and take their chance when they get it. But he did exactly that and I am really pleased for him.” Antonio went close to claiming all three points for West Ham but his second-half volley was beaten away by City keeper Jack Butland. With Victor Moses ruled out for around six weeks with the hamstring injury he suffered against Manchester United, Antonio is likely to feature heavily over the Christmas period. “It felt unbelievable to get a chance,” he told the club website. “This was my boyhood dream to play in the Premier League and I’ve managed that. “Playing at Old Trafford last week set me up well for this game. It showed me the levels of the league and it was a good 50 minutes. He added: “They have been 0-0 draws, but they haven’t been 0-0 games. Against Man United we had quite a few opportunities, and in this game I had quite a few opportunities. Michail Antonio shook off his ‘missing man’ tag as he finally got a chance to impress for West Ham on Saturday.last_img read more