PNC Bank Corp. said yesterday that it plans to enter into a strategic alliance with investment banking firm Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group Inc.

Under the terms of the agreement, Pittsburgh-based PNC will acquire a 4.9% equity stake, representing $40 to $45 million, in Friedman. The North Arlington, Va.-based firm-a big player in the public offering market-was expected to file plans with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday to take roughly 20% to 25% of the company public.

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