Magazine article American Banker

Integrity Seeks Capital or Buyer to Overcome Woe

Magazine article American Banker

Integrity Seeks Capital or Buyer to Overcome Woe

Article excerpt

Stung by large losses in its commercial real estate portfolio and operating under a strict enforcement order from its regulators, Integrity Bank in Alpaharetta, Ga., is trying to raise capital or find a buyer.

The bank, a subsidiary of the $1.2 billion-asset Integrity Bancshares Inc., lost nearly than $44 million last year, and last month it voluntarily delisted its common stock, which has lost more than 94% of its value in the past year.

Walter G. Moeling 4th, a partner at Powell Goldstein LLP in Atlanta who represents the company, said the eight-year-old Integrity is "assessing its strategic alternatives," including selling itself or raising capital.

"Something like that is going to happen," he said. "Fortunately, there's been a lot of interest, maybe not always for the right reason, but there have been an awful lot of people that have looked at one aspect or another of the company."

Mr. Moeling did not name any potential suitor and said "there is no signed transaction" to sell the bank.

Integrity's troubles surfaced in the second quarter of last year when it lost $31.9 million due largely to troubled commercial real estate loans tied to one guarantor. In August it fired its chief executive, and in September it replaced him with Patrick M. Frawley, a former director of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's supervision of southeastern banks, who has experience turning around troubled banks.

In February the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. …

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