Astoria Financial (AF) in Lake Success, N.Y., plans to raise up to $150 million through an offering of depositary shares.

The holding company for Astoria Federal Savings and Loan said Tuesday that it planned to sell up to 5.4 million shares at $25 each, and will give the underwriters the option to buy an additional 600,000 at the same price. The cumulative perpetual preferred shares will pay 6.15% quarterly.

The company says it expects the offering to close on March 19.

Astoria said it plans to use the money for general corporate purposes, including repurchasing debt, increasing capital and making investments.

Barclays, Raymond James and RBC Capital Markets are underwriting the offering.

Astoria Federal, traditionally a single-family lender, has been trying to shift to commercial and multi-family lending. In December, an analyst at Sandler O'Neill pegged the $16.5 billion-asset company as a potential takeover target.

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