Two activist shareholders have increased their stakes in troubled Republic Bancshares of St. Petersburg, Fla.

George P. Bauer and Harrison I. Stearns said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing last week that they had bought 289,400 shares of Republic since July, bringing their combined stake to 636,000 shares, or 6% of the company. In the filing, the two investors said they may meet with management to discuss "performance, strategic direction ... as well as various ways of maximizing stockholder value."

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