New Century Financial Corp., Irvine, Calif., has priced a public offering of 13.5 million shares of common stock at $58 per share, for gross proceeds of $783 million.The joint book-running managers of the offering are UBS Securities LLC and Friedman Billings Ramsey & Co., and the co-lead managers are Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. and Morgan Stanley & Co. The underwriters have been granted an option to buy up to 2.025 million additional shares of the stock to cover any overallotments. In related news, New Century reported that it has agreed to sell 636,885 shares of common stock to Friedman, Billings and Ramsey Group Inc. at $58 per share (less certain discounts) in a private placement. New Century can be found on the Web at http://www.ncen.com.

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