Countrywide Financial Corp., Calabasas, Calif., has started an exchange offer of up to $675 million of its Convertible Securities (also known as the "Exchange Securities") due in 2031 for an equal amount of its Liquid Yield Option Notes.It will trade $1,000 of the Exchange Securities plus $2.50 in cash for each $1,000 of the LYONs. Among the features being touted by Countrywide is that the Exchange Securities can be converted into a mix of cash and Countrywide stock, while the LYONs can only be exchanged for stock. The offer is good for 20 days after the "Launch Date" of Aug. 20.

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