published Friday, May 6th, 2011

N.C. firm buying Green Bank

In its sixth acquisition in less than a year, a North Carolina bank holding company will pay $217 million to buy more than 90 percent of Green Bankshares Inc., the parent company of Tennessee’s seventh-biggest bank.

North American Financial Holdings Inc., a Charlotte, N.C.-based banking firm started by former Bank of America executives, will help Green Bank boost its capital and pay back $83 million in federal Troubled Asset Relief Program loans for Green Bank, bank officials said Thursday.

Green Bank lost $155.7 million in 2009 and $85.7 million last year because of soured loans, including the luxury Rarity Communities in Marion, Meigs and Campbell counties that were not completed as planned. In its annual report, Green Bank said it needed to boost its capital ratios and make other improvements to meet regulatory requirements.

The purchase will boost the assets of the rapidly growing North American Financial Holdings by nearly 50 percent to $7.4 billion and give the North Carolina company a stake in most of East and Middle Tennessee.

With nearly $2 billion in assets, Green Bank operates 65 offices, including two in Athens, Tenn.

The investment by North American Financial will be made up of 120 million newly issued shares of Green Bank’s common stock at a price of $1.81 per share. That’s a 20 percent discount from Wednesday’s closing price of $2.26.

Green Bank shareholders will also be entitled to cash proceeds of up to 75 cents per share based on the performance of the bank’s loan portfolio over the next five years.

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