Bank to Seek $9.5 Million in IPO

Edmund Sanders covers financial institutions and fraud for The Times. He can be reached at (714) 966-5811 and at

One of Orange County's newest banks, Newport Beach-based Pacific Mercantile Bank, hopes to raise $9.5 million in an initial public stock offering later this year.

The business-oriented bank, which began operations March 1, will sell stock for $13.50 a share, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The state-chartered institution has about $21 million in assets, but no profits yet due largely to its short history. The bank lost about $368,000 in the quarter ended March 31.

Bank leaders plan to use the proceeds from the stock sale to open a second branch in San Clemente.

Pacific Mercantile is one of several small business banks founded in Orange County over the last year. Most are betting that a high level of personal service will appeal to small companies and professionals who feel lost in the shuffle of big bank mergers. But Pacific Mercantile is setting its sights far lower than another new Orange County bank. Rival Pacific Community Banking Group, the Laguna Hills-based parent of Bank of Hemet and Valley Bank, said in April it hopes to raise nearly $70 million in a public stock offering.

Pacific Mercantile is led by Raymond Dellerba, the former president of Eldorado Bank. After the offering, Dellerba will own a 2.1% stake in the bank.

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