Buyout Firms Score With BankUnited IPO

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- BankUnited's ( BKU) private equity ownership group will see a windfall in the value of its investment when the Florida bank completes its initial public offering on Friday, according to a Bloomberg report.

Blackstone Group ( BX), Carlyle Group, WL Ross & Co and Centerbridge Partners are selling partial stakes in the bank, which they took control of after it was shut down by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. In total, the buyout firms invested about $900 million in the bank.

BankUnited plans to raise up to $656.3 million in the offering. The bank is selling roughly 4 million shares, while the private equity firms and bank executives are offering another 22.25 million shares. The bank's expected price range for the shares is between $23 and $25, according to a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, said it's likely the deal will price above that range.

Based on the caculations done by Bloomberg, the current owners paid $10.01 a share for the bank. The roughly 19.4 million shares being offered by the buyout firms would be worth $484.3 million, the report says, giving the firms a profit of $290.4 million. The value of their remaining stakes would swell accordingly to roughly $875.6 million. In total, the firms could see a gain as high as $1.2 billion on their investment, Bloomberg calculates.

A strong debut from BankUnited could also prompt many other banks to tap the public markets.

--Written by Maria Woehr in New York.

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