* Shares rise as much as 7 pct, valuing the company at $971
* Raises about $203 mln from the offering of 15.6 mln shares
* Investor Wilbur Ross sold 3.6 mln shares in offering
By Neha Dimri
Feb 12 Shares of Talmer Bancorp Inc,
backed by billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, rose as much as 7
percent in their market debut, valuing the U.S. bank holding
company at about $971 million.
Talmer's initial public offering raised about $203 million
after its Class A shares were priced at $13 per share, near the
lower end of its $12.50-$14.50 expected range.
"Part of the attraction (for bank holding companies) is the
barriers to entry are high in today's highly regulated market,"
said Francis Gaskins, a partner at IPO research company
IPODesktop.com. "Investors like bank holding companies in areas
that may show economic growth."
The Troy, Michigan-based lender's shares opened at $13.75
and touched a high of $13.88 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday. The
stock was up about 5 percent at $13.70 in early trading.
Of the 15.6 million shares on offer, Talmer sold 3.7 million
shares, while the rest came from shareholders.
Ross, the company's biggest shareholder and a board member,
sold 3.6 million shares in the offering, cutting his stake to 18
percent from 24 percent.
Other notable shareholders who sold a part of their holdings
include Manulife Asset Management (US) LLC and David Einhorn's
hedge fund Greenlight Capital.
Talmer is the third financial services company to go public
this year after the $1.8 billion IPO of Spanish bank Santander
SA's auto finance unit Santander Consumer USA Holding
Inc and the $226 million IPO of commercial real estate
mortgage lender Ladder Capital Corp.
Santander Consumer's shares have risen 6 percent since the
IPO, while Ladder Capital's stock has gained about 2 percent.
Talmer is focused on the U.S. mid-western market, with 94
branches in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Nevada
and New Mexico.
The company, which started operations as a single branch in
2007, has grown substantially in the past seven years, with much
of the growth coming from four Federal Deposit Insurance
Talmer's net income jumped 75 percent to $10.5 million in
the quarter ended Sept. 30, while its assets more than doubled
to $4.74 billion in the period.
Net interest income, the difference between what a bank
earns from loans and pays out for deposits, rose about 76
percent to $44 million in the quarter.
Keefe Bruyette & Woods Inc and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC
were the lead underwriters to the offering.