Meridian Bancorp (EBSB) in Peabody, Mass., has launched a common stock offering as the newly created holding company for East Boston Savings Bank.

The $2.7 billion-asset company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell 23.3 million to 36.4 million shares of its stock at $10 each as part of a second-step conversion. The company said it could raise $233 million to $364 million.

Residents living in certain Massachusetts communities will have the first opportunity to buy shares of Meridian stock. Any unsold shares will be offered to shareholders in East Boston's current parent company.

The community offering, which is being handled by Sterne, Agee & Leach, is expected to end on June 20.

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