(adds details, background)
WASHINGTON, June 3 The U.S. Treasury Department
said on Thursday that it will take in net proceeds of about
$2.97 million from the sale of warrants in First Financial
Bancorp (FFBC.O) that were priced at $6.70 each.
The sale of 465,117 warrants is expected to close on or
about June 8, Treasury said in a statement, providing U.S.
taxpayers with an additional return on the government's
preferred stock investment in the bank, which was previously
First Financial Bancorp received $80 million in financial
rescue funds from the Troubled Asset relief Program in
December, 2008, during the financial crisis and repaid the
money on February 24 this year.
The government received the warrants for First Financial
stock as a condition of giving it bailout funds. Money from the
warrant auctions now goes back into Treasury's coffers.
The warrant offering represents Treasury's sale of its
remaining investment in First Financial Bancorp.
A shelf registration statement the company filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission shows the warrants to buy
First Financial stock at $6.70 each expire on Dec. 23, 2018.
(Reporting by Glenn Somerville; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)