Provident Bank Planning to Raise Up to $252M in Stock Offering

The parent company of The Provident Bank is planning to raise up to about $252 million in a new stock offering that will make the company fully public.

That’s according to a recent regulatory filing that says the bank is planning to issue 25.24 million shares at $10 per share.

Depositors of The Provident Bank with aggregate account balances of at least $50 at the close of business on May 31, 2018, will get first priority to purchase stock.

The Provident Bank’s tax-qualified plans, including the employee stock ownership plan and the 401(k) plan, get second priority.

Participants in the SBERA 401(k) plan, which include past and current employees, will be able to collectively purchase up to about 6.7 percent of shares being issued. The employee stock ownership plan will be able to collectively purchase another 8 percent of the shares of common stock sold in the stock offering.

Employees, officers, directors, trustees and corporators of The Provident Bank and Provident Bancorp, get third priority, and then shares of common stock not purchased in the subscription offering may be offered for sale to the general public.

A preference will be given first to people residing in Provident Bank’s footprint in the Massachusetts towns of Amesbury (its headquarters), Newburyport and Salisbury, and the New Hampshire cities and towns of Bedford, Exeter, Greenland, Hampton, Hampton Falls, Manchester, Newcastle, Newington, North Hampton, Portsmouth, Rye, Seabrook and Stratham.

Provident Bank first announced in a regulatory filing last week that it would be making a second-step conversion and going fully public.

The purpose of the offering, according to the filing, is to enhance the bank’s regulatory capital position, improve liquidity of the existing shares of common stock, facilitate the company’s ability to pay dividends to its shareholders and facilitate future mergers and acquisitions.

The news comes more than four years after Provident Bank issued a partial IPO in 2015 when it offered 4.2 million shares of common stock for sale at $10 per share.

Since that time, the bank has grown from about $663 million in assets to close to $1 billion and managed to grow its return on assets to 0.9 percent.

Sandler O’Neill & Partners, L.P. will assist in selling the shares in the subscription and community offerings. Shares of Provident Bancorp stock were trading at $26.66 as of this morning.