North Bay Business Journal

Friday, December 10, 2010, 10:21 am

Circle Bank announces per-share price of public offering


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    Circle BankNOVATO – Circle Bancorp, parent company of Circle Bank, which is in the process to go public, announced the anticipated offering price of shares to be $10.50 and that between 3.05 million and 4.01 million shares would be available.

    The company also said it would use the symbol CIRB when it began trading on Nasdaq.  No date of the offering has been set, but the expectation is early 2011.   A filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said a 500-share minimum purchase would be required in the IPO.

    “The main reason for going public now is that we can’t think of a better time for a healthy bank to be raising capital,” said Kit Cole, chief executive officer and chairman of the board. “Most companies that are raising money are trying to dig themselves out of a hole, and that means investors are buying shares of broken banks. In this case they are getting management that has been able to thrive during the worst period of banking since the depression, a management that has been able to manage risk control.”

    Proceeds from the offering, which is expected to raise $20 million to $30 million, will be used for operations and a continuation of its branch network expansion program. The bank filed the initial announcement of the IPO in October.

    An amended filing, which included the per share price, provided updated financial information, including for the most recently completed quarter, as well as answers to routine SEC questions.

    Headquartered in Novato, Circle Bank has 56 employees with branches in Marin, San Francisco and Sonoma counties. The bank was established in 1990 under the name New West Thrift and Loan Co. It changed its name in 1998 to Novato Community Bank and in 2003 to Circle Bank.

    The bank will open a new location in the Corte Madera Town Center in February of 2011.  It currently also operates branches in Novato, Petaluma, San Rafael and Santa Rosa as well as San Francisco.  The amended filing said the bank might open as many as 20 branch locations over the next 24 to 36 months, some of which would be newly built and others that would be non-FDIC acquisitions.

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