BankUnited, Ally Gear Up for IPOs

NEW YORK ( TheStreet)-- BankUnited's ( BKU) initial public offering, set to take place this Friday, could prompt many other banks to tap the public markets.

The bank plans to raise up to $656.3 million the IPO in an offering of four million shares, with existing private equity stockholders offering another 22.25 million shares. The company expects the shares to price between $23 and $25, according to the regulatory filing.

"They gave it a price range that was pretty impressive. I wasn't surprised that they raised the offering. Obviously investor demand is good. It reminds me of the First Republic ( FRBK) IPO," said Chip MacDonald, a partner at Jones Day.

BankUnited was seized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in 2009 and then transferred into the hands of private equity firms such as WL Ross, Carlyle Group, Blackstone Group ( BX) and Centerbridge Partners.

"I think there will be more banks that have been stifled that will want to follow BankUnited into the public markets," said Scott Sweet, senior managing partner of IPO Boutique. "If they are run and managed as successfully as BankUnited they will do fairly well. Only the best need apply."

"I think we could see other banks like Circle Bank and Everbank have successful offerings, and I think it will ultimately help others banks that want to go public or those that are trying to raise capital from private equity," said Chip MacDonald, a partner at Jones Day.

Another financial services company that could soon tap the public markets is Ally Financial. The bank, which was formerly General Motors ( GM) auto lender is now majority owned by the U.S. government. The bank is reportedly interviewing investment banks to manage its initial public offering this week. Ally's offer could be between $5 billion and $10 billion, according to CNBC.

Other private equity groups that could also take banks public after BankUnited are NBH Holdings, BlueRidge and NAFH National Bank, says MacDonald.

"The documents require these firms to take their banks public in the next two years. I think some of them could go public by June," said MacDonald. " OneWest, formerly IndyMac, is pretty happy being private right now. They are generating a good amount of profitability."

Underwriters of the BankUnited IPO are Morgan Stanley ( MS), Bank of America ( BAC), Deutsche Bank ( DB), Goldman Sachs ( GS), Keefe, Bruyette & Woods ( KBW), RBC Capital Markets ( RBC) and UBS ( UBS).

--Written by Maria Woehr in New York.

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