Northeast Bancorp (NBN) of Lewiston, Maine, is looking to raise additional capital so it could continue to expand its loan portfolio.

The $595 million-asset company said Thursday that it is selling 4.76 million shares of its common stock in a public offering. It did not disclose an offering price, but at the stock's trading price of $10.11 Thursday morning the sale would generate proceeds of around $48 million. The company added that an existing shareholder is also offering roughly 150,000 shares for sale.

Northeast said that it would use the proceeds for loan purchases, organic loan growth and investments in securities, as well as for general corporate purposes.

During the first nine months of its fiscal-year, it purchased nearly $60 million of loans and it bought another $14.6 million of loans in April. Many of those loans were purchased with the proceeds from the recent sale of its insurance arm.

Northeast is one of several banks in slow-growing Maine looking to expand by acquiring assets. Camden National Bank (CAC) is in the process of buying 15 branches from Bank of America (BAC); and Bar Harbor Bankshares (BHB) said earlier this week that it would buy Border Trust Company in Augusta, Maine, in what would be its first-ever acquisition.

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