BancAtlantic Bancorp is tapping the public markets for $140 million in expansion capital.

With net proceeds from a stock and bond offering, the company said it would scout for acquisitions, "including those expected to be available as a consequence of the continuing consolidation of the Florida banking market."

BancAtlantic, with $2.8 billion of assets, would become the state's largest independent bank when NationsBank completes its purchase of Barnett Banks Inc.

BancAtlantic is offering three million shares of common stock, at $13.375 each, and $100 million of convertible subordinated debentures, according to the deal's underwriters, Ryan, Beck & Co. and Tucker Anthony Inc. - Karen Talley

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