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Banking & Finance

First Carolina Bank Announces Successful $115M Capital Raise

By Jenny Callison, posted Apr 8, 2022
First Carolina Bank just may have set a record. The community bank, which has one location in Wilmington, announced the completion of a capital raise that yielded $115 million before deducting fees and expenses generated by the offering of 4.6 million shares of its common stock.
 
This amount of investment from private investors in one capital raise is unprecedented in the state, according to publicly available information, the bank’s president and CEO said in a news release last week.
 
“I am extremely proud to report that this capital raise represents the largest private placement of common equity in North Carolina banking history led by local investors,” Ron Day said. “The completion of this private placement, our ninth and largest to date, represents a significant milestone for the company and reflects increasing customer demand for our service model across an expanding footprint.”
 
More than $90 million of the stock purchase resulted from investments by private individuals; the remainder from institutional investors, said David Rizzo, First Carolina’s Wilmington market executive.
 
“We have a strong investor base here,” Rizzo continued, noting that the capital target was hit in only three weeks, from March 1 to March 21. Stock shares were priced at $25.
 
First Carolina, based in Rocky Mount, North Carolina and founded in 2012, raised $31.4 million in its previous private placement stock offering in 2020.
 
Bank officials cite data showing First Carolina as one of the fastest organically growing banks in the country by assets. Currently, it operates six branches – in Rocky Mount, Raleigh (2), Greensboro and Wilmington, as well as Virginia Beach, Virginia  – with plans to open new full-service locations this year in Columbia and Greenville, South Carolina as well as in Atlanta.
 
“This capital is fuel for the bank’s growth engine, and will carry us for a couple of years,” Rizzo said. “We’re the fastest-growing bank in the state, and we’re outperforming what we project. Now, we’ll have more capital to lend and we’ll be going after relationships with larger borrowers.”
 
First Carolina entered the Wilmington market in 2017 following the bank’s equity raises of $8.7 million in 2016 and $2.7 million in 2017. Rizzo oversaw local its operations as a loan production office. The full-service branch opened at 5815 Oleander Drive in 2020.
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