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Banking & Finance

IPO, New Building Make For Exciting Week At Live Oak Bank

By Jenny Callison, posted Jul 24, 2015
Live Oak Bank is on the move this week, literally and figuratively.

Tuesday, employees began moving into the bank’s just-completed second building on its Tiburon Drive campus, much to the relief of a burgeoning staff who have been working in cramped quarters for months. The bank's first building on the site was completed in the spring of 2013.

Thursday, the bank’s parent, Live Oak Bancshares Inc. launched its IPO, selling about 5.5 million voting common shares to investors and friends and family before those shares began trading at the Nasdaq opening bell, Live Oak CFO Brett Caines said Friday. The IPO share price, fixed at $17, brought nearly $82 million into company coffers, slightly more than Live Oak Bancshares initially envisioned.

Lead investor Sandler O'Neill Investment Banking Group exercised its option to purchase an additional 700,000 shares, Caines added.

By 3:15 p.m. Friday, Live Oak's share price was up almost $3 from its original price of $17 with shares trading at $19.74. More than 277,000 shares had traded Friday by that time.

Bank spokesman Micah Davis said he was among roughly 20 company officials who were on hand at Nasdaq headquarters in New York on Thursday morning when LOB shares began trading trading, and it was an experience not to be missed.

“The Nasdaq people definitely know how to make it special for people,” he said Friday.

Live Oak Bancshares has been preparing for its initial public offering for several months, working with underwriters to prepare the paperwork for application to the Securities and Exchange Commission in June. The application was filed June 19.

To be successful with an IPO, a company must know it can sell enough shares to investors ahead of public trading to net its desired level of revenue. Once the investors have purchased those shares and the SEC has granted its Notice of Effectiveness, the shares can be traded on an exchange.

For the past 10 days, in anticipation of SEC approval, Live Oak officials have traveled the country meeting with potential investors, Caines said. By mid-day Wednesday of this week, interested investors had to submit to Sandler O'Neill their indication of interest: how many shares they would commit to purchase and at what price.

"Wednesday night we looked at the total number of shares and set the price," Caines said. "Thursday morning the stock began trading."

Once the application was filed, the waiting began – a period of several weeks during which bank officials could not discuss the pending matter.

When the SEC issued its Notice of Effectiveness on Wednesday, giving Live Oak the green light for its IPO, everything “happened really quick,” Davis said, explaining that bank officials weren’t prepared for action this week. “We expected to set the stock price on Monday [July 27] and to go live Tuesday [July 28].”
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