The biggest bank holding company in Louisiana, First Commerce Corp., New Orleans, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell 1 million common shares. Net proceeds are expected to be around $44 million.

First Commerce will likely used the proceeds to finance the acquisition of seized thrifts and to shore up capital ratios, analysts said.

The company bought Pelican Federal Savings in January. Another local thrift, Oaktree Savings and loan, may come on the market soon, say analysts.

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc., Lehman Brothers, J.C. Bradford & Co., and Morgan Keegan & Co. will underwrite the offering.

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