Oneida Financial Corp. of New York said it has received conditional regulatory approval to commence its second-step conversion from a mutual to a stock company.

Oneida is offering between 3.3 million and 4.5 million shares of common stock at $8 a share, a 14% discount to its $9.30 closing price on Friday. The sale could raise between $26.8 million and $36.2 million. The approval was announced Saturday.

Oneida may increase the number of shares by up to 15%, to 5.2 million shares, or $41.7 million. The $596 million-asset mutual holding company now owns 55% of Oneida's outstanding stock.

The offering's completion is subject to selling a minimum of 3.3 million shares, and other regulatory approvals. The offering will expire June 18, yet any shares not sold are expected to be sold in a subsequent syndicated community offering, the company said.

Oneida is one of five mutual companies that won approval this month to convert to stock companies. Concern about the future of the Office of Thrift Supervision is a factor in the conversions, analysts said.

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