MidSouth Bancorp Inc. in Lafayette, La., is looking to raise as much as $34.5 million in fresh capital, and it may use it to make acquisitions.

The $948 million-asset company announced the common stock offering after the market closed Thursday.

The raise is decidedly offensive — the company's MidSouth Bank had a total risk-based capital ratio of 15.87% at the end of the third quarter, well above the 10% threshold regulators consider well capitalized.

Its nonperforming assets increased 73% year over year, to $17.9 million, to 1.9% of total assets. That is low compared with the 3.55% average that banks its size across the country had at the end of the third quarter, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

MidSouth filed the registration statement to issue the stock late last month.

Both in interviews and at investor conferences over the last several months, Rusty Cloutier, MidSouth's president and chief executive, has expressed interest in striking deals with the FDIC to acquire failed banks.

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