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First Republic Bank offers depositary shares

San Francisco-based First Republic Bank commenced a public offering of 12 million depositary shares, each representing a 0.025 interest in a share of its 5.50% noncumulative perpetual series I preferred stock.

The public offering price is $25 per depositary share. The bank expects to close the offering on or about June 12.

Net proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes, which could include funding loans or purchasing investment securities for the bank's portfolio. They could also be used to redeem, in whole or in part, the bank's 7.00% noncumulative perpetual series E preferred stock, set to be redeemed in December.

The bank will grant the underwriters an option to purchase additional depositary shares.

Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith Inc., Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Wells Fargo Securities LLC are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering, with J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Keefe Bruyette & Woods Inc. as co-managers.