Countrywide Financial Corp. increased its annual bonus awards for some of its top executives in an effort to provide an incentive for them to remain with the mortgage lender as it is being acquired by Bank of America Corp.

The Calabasas-based lender said in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Thursday that the company's compensation committee approved retention awards of cash and cash-based restricted stock.

The executives approved for the increased bonuses were David Sambol, president and chief operating officer; Eric Sieracki, executive managing director and chief financial officer; Ranjit Kripalani, an executive managing director, and Carlos Garcia, and executive managing director.

The bonuses range between $2.5 million and $1.45 million and stipulate that the executives must remain with the company through March 15, which is when the bonuses are to be paid, according to the filing.

The lender's compensation committee did not specify if Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo would receive a retention incentive bonus.

In the filing, Countrywide also said if shareholders do not approve the takeover by Bank of America, the two companies have agreed to restructure their agreement and resubmit it to Countrywide's shareholders. The acquisition agreement also includes a provision that mandates that Countrywide pay Bank of America $160 million if the proposed deal is not consummated.

Shares in Countrywide slid 6.9 percent Friday to $5.10 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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