Howard Bancorp in Ellicott City, Md., is looking to raise up to $12.8 million through a combined stock sale and private placement and it intends to use at least some of the proceeds to pursue acquisitions.

The $323 million-asset parent of Howard Bank said Tuesday that it is offering 1.2 million of its shares to existing and prospective shareholders at a price of $7.30 each, or a 15% premium above its current trading price. If the offering is fully subscribed its gross proceeds would be roughly $8.4 million.

Additionally, certain institutional investors have committed to buying between 517,000 and nearly 604,000 shares in a private placement, depending on the success of the stock sale. At the high end, the private placement could generate proceeds of $4.4 million.

The company is very well capitalized but said in a news release that it wants to raise additional capital to support both organic growth and acquisitions, as well as for working capital and other corporate purposes.

Howard Bank was founded in 2004 and now has five branches between Baltimore and Annapolis.

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