Investar Bank in Baton Rouge, La., is getting ready to go public.

The $530 million-asset bank said last week that it plans to hold a shareholders meeting on Oct. 31 to approve the creation of a holding company and a conversion to a public ownership structure. The Federal Reserve Board approved Investar's conversion on Sept. 5, the bank said.

In connection with the conversion, Investar plans to sell about $40 million of stock through an underwritten offering. Investar said it would use the money to fund growth.

Investar bought First Community Bank in Hammond, La., this year, and it opened two branches around New Orleans last year. It has 10 branches in southeastern Louisiana.

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