Charter Financial Corp. in West Point, Ga., expects to raise up to $34.2 million of fresh capital through a public offering — barely half what it had hoped to raise initially.

The $1.1 billion-asset company said Thursday that it would sell 4.4 million shares of common stock for $7.78 a share, a 9.5% discount to Wednesday's closing price. The offering is expected to close Sept. 29.

Charter had initially priced the offering at $10.52 a share and planned to raise up to $62.7 million, according to a prospectus filed in June with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Charter had to sell at least $33.3 million of stock to close the deal, but sold only 1.1 million shares at the initial price. Charter commenced a syndicated offering, selling 3.3 million shares at the reduced price, and lowering the price for the 1.1 million shares.

Subscribers that placed orders to purchase stock at $10.52 had the option of receiving either more shares or a refund for the difference.

Charter plans to use proceeds from the offering to pursue failed-bank deals and expand through organic growth.

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