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Santa Rosa’s Luther Burbank Savings files for IPO

12/9/2012: E1: PC: Vic Trione and John Biggs at the new Luther Burbank Savings at B and Third Streets on Thursday, December 6, 2012. (Jeff Kan Lee/ The Press Democrat)

BILL SWINDELL,

Luther Burbank Savings, a Santa Rosa-based bank that has generated consistent profits for more than 30 years through prudent investments in West Coast rental markets, has filed papers for its first offering of publicly traded stock.

The company will be offering $150 million in equity that will be traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol of “LBC.” The number of shares that will be offered and their price range has not been determined, but the small group of owners of the bank founded in 1983 will still retain control.

Company officials could not comment on the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission because the federal agency imposes a blackout period after an IPO offering.

Bank Chairman Vic Trione, his brother, Mark, and George Mancini, the company’s first president, are the shareholders in the bank. The SEC filing documents said the Trione family will still control more than 50 percent of outstanding stock following the offering.

“We are raising additional capital in this offering to support our continued growth, to establish our ability to obtain additional capital in the future and to provide liquidity to our existing shareholders,” the bank said in its SEC filing documents.

The financial institution has about $5.3 billion in assets, with more than $433 million in stockholder equity — of which $431 million were retained earnings over the years that were not paid out as dividends but were reinvested into the business. The bank will be listed as a “controlled company” under SEC guidelines, which means it can choose not to have the majority of its board consist of independent directors, or have a compensation or corporate governance committee composed entirely of independent directors.

The bank specializes in providing funding for multifamily units along the West Coast, as it represents 57 percent of its loan portfolio — far higher than most banks. Its average multifamily loan is $1.4 million.

It has seen that business increase as the demand for apartment housing has grown in San Francisco with the tech boom as well as Seattle with Amazon’s expansion. Even during the downturn in single-family units a decade ago, the apartment sector held up much better.