BNCCorp Inc.'s shares plunged Thursday after the Bismarck, N.D., company announced a private placement at a highly discounted price.

The $665 million-asset company said in a press release that it would sell 9.2 million shares of its common stock to unnamed investors for $17 million, or roughly $1.85 each. BNCCorp's shares plummeted 45% from their closing price on Wednesday, to $2.75 each.

BNCCorp said it expects to complete the private placement in the second or third quarter. The company said it could use the proceeds for a variety of purposes, including the repayment of accrued and unpaid dividends and interest on outstanding preferred stock and trust preferred securities and the redemption of all of its outstanding preferred stock.

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