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BankUnited Could File for IPO This Week: Report

BankUnited could file for an IPO as soon as this week.

Story updated with comments from John Millman.

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

TST Recommends

BankUnited

could file for an IPO as soon as this week.

A report by Reuters

says the bank is looking to raise roughly $500 million in the offering. The proceeds would be used to purchase other banks.

"This would allow them capital for other acquisitions and it would also open them up to buy banks using stock," said Chip MacDonald of Jones Day told

TheStreet

. "They could also use the proceeds to buy failed banks."

A source told

Reuters

Morgan Stanley

(MS) - Get Report

,

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

,

Deutsche Bank

(DB) - Get Report

and

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

are underwriting the IPO.

Private equity firms such as

WL Ross

,

Carlyle Group

Blackstone Group

(BX) - Get Report

and

Centerbridge Partners

purchased the assets of BankUnited after it failed in May last year. The firms put $900 million in the bank. John Kanas, who sold

North Fork Bank

to

Capital One

(COF) - Get Report

was installed as CEO.

Kanas has repeatedly said that the BankUnited could follow the same acquisition strategy he used with North Fork. He is also rumored to be looking at

distressed banks in the New York area.

"It's not particularly surprising given John Kanas's deep ties to this market place and his very successful track record of successful acquisitions," said John Millman CEO of

Sterling National Bank

(STL) - Get Report

.

One of the things to watch will be how many shares the private equity firms sell, says MacDonald.

The IPO would be the first bank public offering in Florida since the credit crisis began, and the first failed bank to IPO after the purchase by private investors since the credit crisis.

--Written by Maria Woehr in New York.

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Maria Woehr

.

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