Northfield Bancorp Inc. in Avenel, N.J., said Wednesday that shares of its common stock will be sold in a syndicated community offering as part of its mutual-to-stock conversion.

The move is an indication that the $2.1 billion-asset company has had trouble selling the required minimum number of shares, as have other mutual holding companies taking the second step.

Northfield is offering up to 35.6 million shares of common stock, and must sell at least 26.3 million to close the deal. Converting companies offer stock in three phases: a subscription offering, a community offering and, if needed, a syndicated community offering.

The company did not say how many shares it still needs to sell. Yet it has increased the number of shares that investors may purchase from 300,000 shares to 5% of the shares sold in the offering. It is also extending the community offering portion until Sept. 17 at 1 p.m.

Completion of the offering is subject to the approval of the company's board of directors and shareholders.

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