BankUnited Inc. raised $783 million in its initial public offering, more than 18% than what it initially expected. 

The Miami Lakes, Fla., company, which was bought in May 2009 by private investors including W.L. Ross & Co., Blackstone Group and Carlyle Group, said in a press release late Thursday that it sold 29 million shares of common stock at $27 a share. The stock is expected to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BKU.

On Monday, BankUnited said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it planned to sell 26.25 million shares at $23-$25 a share. The company said in its initial registration statement that it would use the funds "to grow opportunistically, both organically and through acquisitions."

The $11.2 billion-asset company’s backers invested more than $900 million upon acquiring its assets from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

BankUnited is one of a handful of banking companies tested the IPO market. Circle Bancorp in California filed its paperwork in October and was soon followed by EverBank Financial Corp. Industry observers, however, have been reluctant to predict a significant increase in initial public offerings.

"You will not see many for quite a while" until after-tax profitability returns and devaluation of assets ends, said Ben Bishop, the chairman of the Florida investment bank Allen C. Ewing & Co., said in a December interview. "My goodness, that won't happen for at least two years."

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