Equity Bancshares in Wichita, Kan., has raised $35.4 million in a common stock offering and plans to use the proceeds to pay down a line of credit and support growth.

The $2 billion-asset parent of Equity Bank said Wednesday that it raised $25 million through the sale of 770,000 shares of common stock at $32.50 each. The private placement also included $10.4 million of secondary shares sold by funds affiliated with Patriot Financial Partners and Endicott Management Company.

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods was the sole placement agent. Norton Rose Fulbright advised Equity.

"The addition of more common capital and additional investors in Equity helps us build upon our strategic plan of growing a strong community bank," Brad Elliott, the company's chairman and CEO, said in a news release.

Equity last month acquired the $475 million-asset Community First Bancshares in Harrison, Ark., for $68 million. In October, Equity agreed to buy the $149 million-asset Prairie State Bancshares in Hoxie, Kan., for $24.5 million. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter.

Equity has 34 offices in Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri.

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