Plenty of publicly traded banks have issued more stock this year to raise cash and bolster balance sheets damaged in the credit crunch. Now, a Texas bank, PlainsCapital Corp., is seeking to go public to repay government bailout funds in what would be the first initial offering by a U.S. bank in more than two...

Plenty of publicly traded banks have issued more stock this year to raise cash and bolster balance sheets damaged in the credit crunch. Now, a Texas bank, PlainsCapital Corp., is seeking to go public to repay government bailout funds in what would be the first initial offering by a U.S. bank in more than two years.

PlainsCapital Corp. said in a regulatory filing Wednesday that it expects to offer 15 million shares of common stock at price range of $14 to $16 apiece. The Dallas-based bank, which also offers mortgage and financial advisory services, said it has been authorized for listing on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PCB.”

PlainsCapital, which disclosed initial plans for the IPO in August, said it expects the offering will raise about $141.5 million, after expenses.

PlainsCapital intends to use about $92 million from the offering to buy back preferred stock from the U.S. Treasury Department. The stock was issued under the government’s Capital Purchase Program, which injected money into troubled banks during the financial crisis.

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Another $20 million will repay debt owed under a revolving credit line to an affiliate of J.P. Morgan Securities. The rest will support bank operations.

Underwriters have an option to buy an additional 2.25 million shares to cover over-allotments, if any – a prospect that could boost the total amount raised to as much as $172.9 million. J.P. Morgan will act the lead underwriter.

PlainsCapital’s offering would be the first IPO by a U.S. bank since Encore Bancshares Inc. raised $41.6 million in a July 2007 offering, according to IPOBoutique.com, a Tampa, Fla.-based IPO advisory firm.

Many banks have recently succeeded in raising cash by issuing more stock, enjoying a warm reception from investors who have driven up bank share prices in recent months.

But a bank going public could prove to be a tougher sell, said Scott Sweet, a senior managing partner at IPOBoutique. Several recent financial IPOs by companies seeking to launch real estate investment trusts have fared poorly, with only a small group of investors seeking exposure to real estate assets whose values have been eroded by a market slump.

“There have been a few of them all going after the same distressed dollar, literally tripping over each other,” Sweet said.

And more broadly, the IPO market “has been basically extremely dormant until recently,” with share prices of companies that recently went public declining for the most part, Sweet said.

However, PlainsCapital has “pretty much weathered” the credit crunch, and appears to be financially sound, Sweet said.

“I would consider this to be a well-run, diversified bank, and they seem to be very cautious in their lending, and have established healthy reserves in case loans do go bad.”

The bank, founded in 1987, said in its filing that it had total assets of nearly $4.68 billion as of Sept. 30 and deposits of about $3.25 billion.

PlainsCapital is the holding company for PlainsCapital Bank, and also parent to PrimeLending, which offers residential mortgages in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with offices nationwide; Hester Capital Management, an investment advisory firm with clients ranging from individuals to foundations; and First Southwest Co., a regional investment bank. The company employs 2,600 people 211 locations across 36 states.

Over the past five years, revenue, which includes interest and non-interest income, has risen 30 percent from $189.1 million to $246.4 million.