The recent spate of home equity and B and C lenders going public shows no sign of slowing.

First Alliance Mortgage Co., Irvine, Calif. is the most recent finance company to join the crowd. The lender plans to issue 3.35 million class A common shares priced between $17 and $19 per share.

Earlier this year, Contifinancial Corp., a New York-based finance company, raised $130.2 million in an initial offering of 6.2 million shares. Aames Financial Corp., Cityscape Corp., and IMC Mortgage Co., Tampa, are other finance companies that recently went public.

"We are seeing a condensing of the home equity business in fewer and stronger hands, but it is still significantly fragmented," said Michael Millman, an equity analyst at Lehman Brothers. The newly public lenders need equity to support growth and to increase the number of loans they securitize, Mr. Millman said.

First Alliance plans to use the money raised to expand its retail branch system and will open at least four new branches a year, according to its SEC filing. It operates retail branches in 10 states and will expand into new markets and states, the filing states.

The lender also started a subsidiary in the United Kingdom that originates and purchases loans there through wholesale and retail channels.

First Alliance earned $30.5 million in 1995. It originated $242.8 million of mortgages that year. The majority of originations was through its retail branches.

Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co. was the underwriter for the offering.

Earlier this year, Imperial Credit Industries, Torrance, Calif., spun off its subprime mortgage operation and made it a separate unit, Southern Pacific Funding Corp. It raised money for the operation with an initial public offering in March.

Pennrock Financial Services Corp., Blue Ball, Pa., that month also formed a mortgage subsidiary called Atlantic Regional Mortgage Corp.

Separately, Capstead Mortgage Corp., Dallas, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell 1.5 million class B convertible preferred B stock, at $13.13 a share.

The lender also filed a prospectus for a stock dividend reinvestment plan for its series B preferred stockholders.

Although offerings by equity and subprime lenders are going strong, flotations by pure mortgage companies have been scarce since a rash of such offerings in 1992 and 1993.

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