The Bank Slate


Republic First in Pa. raising $125M via private placement

Republic First Bancorp in Philadelphia plans to raise $125 million in capital.

The $5.6 billion-asset company said in a press release that Castle Creek Capital committed about $60.7 million, while an affiliate of Cohen Private Ventures pledged $30 million.

The investors are buying common stock, non-voting common stock, warrants and convertible preferred stock.

Castle Creek, in its role as anchor investor, will receive an additional warrant for 1.3 million shares of non-voting common stock with a seven-year term. Castle Creek will also be allowed to appoint a director or an observer to Republic First’s board.

The private placement, expected to close in May, followed a strategic review and is intended to improve profitability and enhance shareholder value.

The capital raise “positions us to accelerate execution of a strategic plan that targets profitability and enhanced value for stakeholders,” Thomas Geisel, Republic First’s president and CEO, said in the release.

“Although we have significant work in front of us, completing our strategic review and strengthening Republic First’s financial position are important milestones on the path to long-term value creation,” Geisel added.

The remaining $34.3 million will be raised by selling securities to other accredited investors at the same terms. Those investors will come from a pool identified by the company and its advisers.

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Vinson & Elkins and Luse Gorman advised Republic First. Squire Patton Boggs advised the placement agent, while Sidley Austin advised Castle Creek.

Republic First, which has sparred with some activist investors in the past year hired KBW last fall to consider its strategic options. That decision came after the company received “inquiries by multiple parties expressing interest in one or more potential strategic transactions.”

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