Monarch Financial Holdings, Inc. priced an offering of 700,000 shares of noncumulative convertible perpetual preferred stock at a price of $25.00 per share. The company estimates its gross proceeds at $17.5 million.

The noncumulative convertible perpetual preferred stock has a dividend yield of 7.8% and is convertible into 3.125 shares of common stock of Monarch Financial Holdings, Inc. at a price of $8.00 per share.

The management of Monarch Financial Holdings, Inc. said that the size of the issue was increased from 650,000 shares due to strong interest from investors.

Brad E. Schwartz, the CEO of Monarch Financial Holdings, Inc, said, “Our ability to raise capital quickly and increase the size of the offering is a testament to our company’s fundamental strength. We are ready to use this capital to support loan demand in our markets as well as fund our overall growth.”

The company said that it would use the proceeds to possibly redeem the preferred stock issued to the federal government as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Plan (TARP), or for general corporate purposes.

Monarch Financial Holdings, Inc is a holding company that owns Monarch Bank, which has nine offices in Virginia. The company also owns a mortgage company active in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.