The markets must be in good shape because First Republic Bank announced on Monday that it launched its initial public offering, after completing a deal in July to purchase the San Francisco private bank back from Bank of America.

In a July interview, Katherine August-deWilde, the bank’s chief operating officer, said that the management team was waiting for “the markets to be right” to take the bank public again.

On Monday, the company announced its IPO will consist of 11.0 million shares of common stock, offered by First Republic and certain selling shareholders, in the tentative price range of $24 to $27 per share. First Republic Bank's common stock is expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "FRC" on the business day following pricing.

The offering will be made only by means of an offering circular.

As of September 30, 2010, First Republic’s assets totaled $22 billion, its deposits were $19 billion, its wealth management assets totaled $17.2 billion, and loans serviced for others totaled $3.7 billion.

First Republic was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California. The bank has an interesting history. It started as an independent bank 25 years ago before being bought in 2007 by Merrill Lynch for $1.7 billion. It was a public company for 21 years of its 22 years of independence.

At the time it was bought Merrill Lynch agreed the company would operate as a stand-alone brand and would retain its name, its management, its headquarters and its client and community focus. But the Merrill-First Republic marriage didn’t last long. When Bank of America bought Merrill, First Republic was part of the package deal. Then as speculation mounted about how BofA would raise much-needed capital to pay the government back for its bailout funds, the banking company announced in October it would sell First Republic to Colony Capital and General Atlantic, two private-equity firms, which own just under 50% of the bank, and a group of other investors, including the bank’s chairman, James H. Herbert, and August-deWilde.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed though a variety of reports had pegged the transaction’s value at $1 billion.

First Republic Bank has 62 offices and focuses exclusively in private banking, private business banking and private wealth management and has offices in many cities including San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Newport Beach, San Diego, Portland, Boston, Greenwich and New York City.

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