MetroCorp Bancshares (MCBI) in Houston has commenced a public stock offering to raise $40 million of common equity.

The $1.5 billion-asset company said in a press release Thursday that the proceeds could be used to support organic growth or acquisitions, including failed-bank deals. The company said it could also use some of the proceeds to redeem the $45 million of preferred stock held by the Treasury Department.

At March 31, Metro's total risk-based capital ratio was 17.59%.

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