With the ring of the Nasdaq bell, Square 1 Bank became a publicly traded today on the Nasdaq under the symbol SQBK.

Shares showed some “pop,” surging as high as 15 percent on the day.

Square 1 Bank CEO Doug Bowers rang the opening bell with a huge team of Square 1 team members on stage with him. The Durham-based company is the latest of several Triangle area technology-related firms to go public over the past year. Among them are ChannelAdvisor and Quintiles, which returned to public markets.

Square 1 said Wednesday night it had priced shares at $18 vs. an expected range of $15-$17 and will raise some $105 million.

Some 6.76 million shares looked to be offered, but 882,167 of those are set aside as an over-allotment for the underwriters.

By early afternoon, nearly 3.6 million shares had been traded with a high of $20.42. 

Shares finished the day at $20.60, up 14.4 percent. They hit a high of $20.70. More than 5 million shares changed hands.

At the open, Square 1 traded at $19.53, well above the $18 IPO price.

Many Square 1 executives were in New York for opening day, but a spokesperson reached by WRALTechWire declined comment on the festivities and the opening of trading,

However, Nasdaq did issue a press release and some photos.

“NASDAQ is thrilled to welcome Square 1 Financial, Inc. to The NASDAQ Stock Market,” said Nelson Griggs, senior vice president of NASDAQ OMX. “We congratulate Square 1 Financial, Inc. on their initial public offering and look forward to an enduring partnership with the company and its shareholders.”

An IPO will end a three-month process that began with an initial SEC filing in January.

The Durham-based venture capital focused bank looks to raise $45.5 million after expenses and investors are hoping to cash out a similar amount when its initial public offering is executed on Thursday.

Some 5.8 million shares are to be offered with the bank itself offering 2.8 million.

In total, the IPO is expected to generate nearly $115 million, depending on final share pricing. 

According to Square 1, the bank expected to net $45.5 million after expenses if shares price at $16.

Square 1 will not receive any proceeds from shares sold by investors.

The company has steadily increased profits and also had expanded the size of the offering.

Founded in 2005, Square 1 operates offices in 12 markets and has 230 employees. It has more than $2 billion in deposits.

Investing Proceeds

So how will Square 1 invest its share of IPO money?

“We expect to downstream approximately 90% of the net proceeds of the offering to Square 1 Bank,” it says.

“We intend to use the net proceeds to us generated by this offering to support our long-term growth by enhancing our capital ratios in light of the heightened capital standards under Basel III, and for general working capital and other corporate purposes.

“We intend, as a secondary purpose of the offering, to use the net proceeds to redeem, at the first quarterly redemption date following the offering, any Series A preferred stock and to retire any indebtedness relating to Square 1 Financial’s trust preferred securities that remain outstanding following the completion of this offering.

“Our trust preferred securities and Series A preferred stock are currently redeemable by the Company, at its option, on any quarterly dividend payment date. No premium is attached to such redemption. Such redemption would require approval of the Federal Reserve, which approval has not yet been sought.

“As our preferred stock and our trust preferred securities are currently convertible, at the option of the holder, into common stock at a conversion price of $10.00 per share, we expect that a significant portion of the $7.4 million in outstanding trust preferred securities and the $5.0 million in outstanding Series A preferred stock will be converted into common stock prior to the redemption date.

“Although we may, from time to time in the ordinary course of business, evaluate potential acquisition and business line expansion opportunities that we believe are complementary to our business and provide attractive risk-adjusted returns, we do not have any immediate plans, arrangements or understandings relating to any material acquisition.

“Our management will retain broad discretion to allocate the net proceeds of this offering. The precise amounts and timing of our use of the proceeds will depend upon market conditions, among other factors.”

More information about the IPO can be found online at the Nasdaq.