Six weeks after announcing that intended to raise around $150 million in a stock offering, Nara Bancorp Inc. in Los Angeles is now telling investors it may scale back its ambitions and raise only what it needs to complete its acquisition of rival Center Financial Corp.
The $3.2 billion-asset Nara said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Friday that while it still needs to raise capital to complete the $286 million acquisition, the final amount could be "substantially less" than $150 million, based on the two companies' current capital levels.
"Depending on market conditions, Nara and Center may decide to seek in the capital offering only the amount…required for approval of the merger," Nara said in the SEC filing.
In a research note Monday, Sandler O'Neill & Partners LP said it was encouraged by the change in the language "as it reduces the dilution risk associated with the offering."
Nara and Center announced their plans to merge in December in a deal that would create the nation's largest Korean-American banking company, with roughly $5.5 billion of assets. The deal is expected to close in the second half of this year. Under terms of the agreement, Nara shareholders would own 55% of the combined company and Center shareholders would own the rest.