First NBC Bank IPO could launch Friday

First NBC Bank expects to go public on Friday, according to federal regulatory filings.

The bank expects to generate about $100 million from it initial public offering of stock, offering 4.2 million shares at a price range between $22 to $26, documents show.

First NBC, headquartered on Baronne Street, has 31 branches in Orleans, Jefferson, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Washington and Livingston parishes and a loan production office in Gulfport, Miss. As of the end of 2012, the bank had 433 employees, according to filings.

The bank had $2.7 billion in assets at the end of 2012 and total deposits of $2.3 billion.

Federal regulations prevent officials of companies involved in IPOs from commenting.

Peter Ricchiuti, a finance professor at Tulane University who tracks regional stocks across the South through the university’s Burkenroad Reports, said in an email response to questions that there should be a strong investor appetite for new bank stocks like First NBC.

“The housing market has bottomed and is showing quite a bit of life. Additionally, the strengthening economy should steepen the yield curve and improving lending margins,” Ricchiuti said. “Finally, it seems that nationally bank lending has begun to increase.”

The bank formed in March 2006 and took a name similar to First National Bank of Commerce, a prominent New Orleans bank that was acquired by Bank One in 1998. Ashton J. Ryan Jr., who was president and CEO of First Bank & Trust for seven years, founded First NBC.

That familiar name helped First NBC grow rapidly. According to the FDIC, the bank had the fifth-largest share of the metro New Orleans banking market as of June 30, 2012, behind only established regional and national giants such as Capital One, Whitney, Chase and Regions. First NBC says it is the largest bank holding company by assets headquartered in New Orleans.

First NBC has grown quickly through an aggressive acquisition strategy — purchasing assets and branches of Dryades Savings, Statewide Bank and Central Progressive Bank over a 3½-year period — but said in the IPO filing it has no immediate plans or arrangements for significant acquisitions. The bank said it plans to use the proceeds of the IPO for supporting its organic growth and other general corporate purchases.

The bank will be listed on the Nasdaq exchange under the symbol NBCB.

John Fields, deputy chief examiner for the state Office of Financial Institutions, which oversees various entities that provide financial services in Louisiana, said it hasn’t been very common for banks chartered in the state to offer an IPO. Fields said he doesn’t think one has been done in the past five to 10 years.

“There have been private stock offerings and banks adding shares for purchase,” he said.