Esquire Bank's headquarters  in Jericho.

Esquire Bank's headquarters in Jericho. Credit: Mojo Stumer Associates

Shares of Esquire Financial Holdings Inc., a Jericho bank holding company that makes loans to law firms and small businesses, jumped almost 9 percent Tuesday after its $33.1 million initial public offering on the Nasdaq Capital Market.

The company had priced its IPO at $14 per share, the lower end of its previously announced range of $14 to $16.

Shares climbed 8.9 percent to close at $15.25.

The newly public company is one of two that offered IPOs on Long Island this month — the other was cable, telephone and internet company Altice USA of Bethpage — at a time when the number of public companies on Long Island and in the nation is shrinking.

Esquire said in a news release that it expects net proceeds after expenses of about $21.9 million from the IPO on the sale of 1.8 million shares. An additional 563,873 shares were sold by stockholders.

The shares began trading under the symbol ESQ.

Esquire, which had assets of about $438.1 million and deposits of $383 million as of March 31, is based in Jericho and has a branch office in Garden City and an administrative office in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Esquire, which operates through its subsidiary, Esquire Bank, said in a filing that it would use the proceeds from the IPO to expand its loan portfolio, to finance potential acquisitions and for general corporate purposes.

The number of public companies on Long Island has shrunk in recent years as companies such as Dealertrack, Cablevision Systems Corp. and Pall Corp. have been bought, and others such as CA Technologies and Arrow Electronics have moved their headquarters.

Altice USA, the U.S. unit of Netherlands-based Altice N.V., plans to move its headquarters to Long Island City, Queens, and maintain a large operation in Bethpage. Altice, which bought Cablevision, owns 25 percent of Newsday Media Group.

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