Eastern Bank Readying For IPO

Eastern Bank Readying For IPO

Boston-based Eastern Bank, the nation’s largest mutual, is pushing ahead with plans to go public and shed its long-time format in a move that could raise nearly $2 billion, according to a press release.

The more than 200-year-old bank, originally founded 1818, has filed plans notifying the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of its plans for an initial public offering (IPO).

Eastern said it will hold its IPO later this year, with plans to sell more than 201 million shares at $10 apiece, according to the filing.

The bank, which has grown steadily over the past several years under the watch of CEO Bob Rivers, expanding to more than $12.3 billion in assets and nearly 90 branches, according to the filing, is now hoping the conversion into a public company will fuel further expansion.

“We are proud of Eastern Bank’s history as the oldest and largest mutual bank in the United States and our enduring commitment to our customers, colleagues and communities,” said Rivers in the release. “The conversion also provides an opportunity to build upon the incredible commitment of our depositors, employees, corporators and community partners.”

Still, nothing is set in concrete yet, with the amount of capital Eastern can potentially raise ultimately depending upon the number of shares it puts up for sale. In its filing, Eastern has estimated it may sell anywhere from 130 million shares to more than 201 million.

Based on sale price of $10 a share, the amount Eastern could ultimately raise ranges from $1.3 billion to around $2 billion.

Sales agents for the IPO are Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. and J.P. Morgan Securities, the filing states, with Eastern anticipating it will be able to complete the conversion by the end of the year after approval from state and federal regulators, according to the release.

Shares of Eastern will trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol EBC, according to the filing.