DeFoor seeks stake in bank

DeFoor seeks stake in bank

March 2nd, 2010 by Mike Pare in Business Around the Region

COMMUNITY TRUST

Community Trust & Banking is a state-chartered commercial bank with its principal office in Ooltewah. It has branches in Chattanooga and Hixson.

Hamilton County businessman Byron DeFoor has filed notice with state and federal regulators for permission to acquire a controlling interest in Ooltewah-based Community Trust and Banking.

The bank's board said in a statement that it has accepted an offer from Mr. DeFoor to purchase about 1.1 million shares of newly issued bank common stock.

Bank President Greg Henry said that like many of the community banks across the state, it has experienced a need for additional capital to provide the kind of cushion directors feel is required to operate in a recession.

"However, unlike many of our peers, we are fortunate that we have a local investor who is willing to invest in our bank so that we can continue to meet the needs of our customers in and around the Hamilton County market," Mr. Henry said. "Mr. DeFoor is part of our community and wants to see the bank grow and prosper."

Mr. DeFoor has filed a notice of change in bank control with the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. for permission to acquire a controlling interest in the bank.

Mr. DeFoor and brother Ken are developing Waterside Lifestyle Center on Shallowford Road.

Byron DeFoor also is an owner and racer of vintage cars. He said he is excited about the investment.

"It is a sound community bank with wonderful, capable employees," Mr. DeFoor said. "We have a bright future ahead and I look forward to finalizing the regulatory process so we can move ahead."

He declined further comment.

Ken Hamilton, the bank's chairman, said that even before the transaction with Mr. DeFoor, the bank was well capitalized by regulatory standards.

"Our board wants to be certain that we operate Community Trust with more than enough capital to meet the credit needs of our customers and the expectations of our regulators," he said.