Northfield Bancorp (NFBK) in Avenel, N.J., has moved one step closer to becoming a fully public company.

Northfield said Thursday that the members of its mutual holding company had approved plans to proceed with a second-step conversion. The $2.5 billion-asset company said it plans to complete its conversion by then end of the month, pending approval from shareholders and regulators.

Northfield has scheduled a shareholder meeting for Jan. 24 to vote on the proposal.

The company first explored a conversion in 2010, but postponed it due to weak investor demand for bank stocks. Last June, Northfield resurrected plans to convert. In November, the company said it planned to issue $310 million in stock, representing a majority interest in the company, as part of the conversion.

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