NU Online News Service, Oct. 26, 11:29 a.m. – Clark/Bardes Inc., Barrington, Ill., an executive compensation and benefits firm, says it may sell up 4.2 million shares of common stock.

The company currently has about 13 million shares of common stock outstanding, according to company figures.

The stock has been trading since June in a price range of $20 to $30 per share, with average trading volume of about 40,000 shares per day. The stock was selling for $21.39 per share at 10:22 a.m. today.

At a price of $20 per share, the proposed offering could raise $84 million.

J.P. Morgan Chase & Company Inc., New York, is the lead manager of the offering.

Clark/Bardes hopes to use the proceeds to pay its debts under a credit agreement arranged by Bank One Corp., Chicago, the company says.

Clark/Bardes owed $66.2 million on its credit facility June 30, according to an earnings statement filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The credit limit is $114.3 million.

Clark/Bardes has used the cash from the credit facility to buy several smaller compensation and benefits consulting firms.