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Mississippi-based First Bancshares files registration statement

Hattiesburg, Miss.-based First Bancshares Inc. filed a registration statement for the potential sale of either 3,563,380 shares of mandatorily convertible, noncumulative, nonvoting, perpetual preferred stock, series E, or the same number of shares of common stock underlying those preferred shares, by selling shareholders.

The shares of common stock are issuable upon conversion of the series E preferred stock, subject to approval from common shareholders, according to the Dec. 16 filing.

The proposed maximum aggregate offering price, estimated for the purpose of calculating the registration fee, is approximately $63.2 million.

The company will not receive any of the proceeds from the sale of the securities by selling shareholders, but is bearing the expenses of registration.

These preferred shares were originally issued to the selling shareholders in October in a private placement at $17.75 per share. The selling shareholders included Vice Chairman, President and CEO M. Ray Cole Jr. and a number of the company's directors, as well as Banc Fund IX LP, PRB Investors LP, Castine Partners II LP and Castine Offshore Fund LTD., among others.