C1 Bank files to go public

The St. Petersburg-based parent of fast-growing C1 Bank has filed plans to go public, seeking to raise up to $50 million for continued expansion, according to a registration statement filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The bank intends to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol BNK.

C1 Financial Inc. said the number of shares to be offered and price range have not been determined. However, its SEC filing cited a maximum offering price of $50 million. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. and Raymond James & Associates are acting as joint bookrunners for the offering.

C1 Bank CEO Trevor Burgess declined to comment Friday, citing the quiet period during a public offering.

After several years of turmoil in Florida banking, the desire to expand is heating up. C1's news comes just two weeks after another Florida bank, Weston-based Florida Community Bank, filed with the SEC to raise $150 million through a public offering.

With its headquarters in St. Petersburg, C1 has 28 branches in Florida and a loan production office in Orlando. It is opening a branch in Coral Gables in October and three next year: two in Miami and one in north Tampa.

According to the SEC filing, C1 is in the top 1 percent of fastest-growing banks nationwide and, with $1.4 billion in assets, ranks as the 20th largest institution in Florida.

Though the institution's charter dates to 1995, its modern era of growth began at the end of 2009. That was when four investors, including Burgess, made a significant investment to recapitalize the Community Bank of Manatee, then a small, five-branch operation based in Bradenton.

Seizing on the troubled banking environment at the time, the group began a series of acquisitions, moved the bank's headquarters to St. Petersburg and changed its name to C1 Bank.

The bank garnered headlines this year as an advocate for a higher minimum wage, announcing it was establishing a minimum "living wage rate" of $14 per hour for its full-time employees. The change hiked the pay of 27 of its 217 employees, in some cases up to 30 percent.

Contact Jeff Harrington at jharrington@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3434. Follow @JeffMHarrington.

C1 Bank files to go public 07/11/14 [Last modified: Friday, July 11, 2014 7:01pm]

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