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First National raises $148M

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  • | 4:26 p.m. April 19, 2011
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NAPLES — First National Bank of the Gulf Coast raised $148 million from private investors, further signifying a recovery in the banking sector.

The Naples-based bank will use $40 million to finance its internal growth. The remaining $108 million will be used for “other expansion opportunities,” a statement says, likely including acquisitions.

Lightyear Capital LLC, a New York-based group, and GMT Capital Corp., an Atlanta-based firm, were named as key investors in the release. As part of the deal, Lightyear's Chris Casciato (managing director) and GMT's Adam Compton (vice president) will join First National's board of directors.

Once the deal closes, First National will immediately work toward offering existing investors the opportunity to buy additional shares of the bank's stock at $5 per share, which was the effective price for investors in this latest transaction.

Opened in 2009, First National Bank of the Gulf Coast is led by Gary Tice, who serves as the bank's chairman and CEO. Tice and business partner state Sen. Garrett Richter founded First National Bankshares of Florida in 1989, eventually selling it to Fifth Third Bank for $1.6 billion at the peak of the market in 2005.

First National currently operates three branch locations between Collier and Lee counties. As of March 31, the bank managed $329.4 million in total assets, $115.6 million in loans, and $302.4 million in deposits.


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