HarborOne Bancorp adopts plan to go fully public

BROCKTON, Mass. – HarborOne Bancorp Inc announced plans to go fully public Wednesday.

The company has adopted a plan of conversion to reorganize into a fully public stock holding company and conduct a second-step offering of new shares.

As part of the reorganization, the bank will become a wholly owned subsidiary of a new holding company, also named HarborOne Bancorp Inc.

Joseph F. Casey, HarborOne’s executive vice president, chief operations officer and chief financial officer told PBN Wednesday that the move was driven by a desire for more capital. He said that going public would allow the company to continue its business plan, a “high growth” plan that includes expanding its geography and mortgage company. He said that the plans included more branches and commercial offices as well as investments.

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He said that the company felt that the time was right following the acquisition of Coastway Bancorp Inc. He also noted that the bank thought that the market conditions were favorable to the move to go public.

HarborOne Bancorp acquired Coastway Bancorp Inc. in October 2018 in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $125.6 million, expanding the company’s footprint in Rhode Island.

In January, the company reported that it earned $11.4 million in 2018, or 36 cents per diluted share, a 9.8 percent increase from $10.4 million, or 33 cents per diluted share, in 2017. As of Dec. 31, HarborOne’s total assets stood at $3.65 billion, compared with $2.68 billion a year earlier.

Common stock already owned by parties other those who are part of HarborOne Mutual Bancshares will be converted to common stock of the new holding company. Shares of HarborOne Mutual Bancshares will be canceled and the amount of the ownership interest of those shares will be sold through second-step stock offering.

The move was said to have no impact on customers of the bank. Depositors of the bank and formerly of Coastway with qualifying deposits as of Feb. 28, 2018, will have first priority to purchase new shares of common stock.

The company completed an initial public offering in 2016.

Casey said that the company expects to offer the shares by the second quarter of 2019, but that it is subject to regulatory approval and could be later.

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor. Email him at Bergenheim@PBN.com.