SOURCE: First Bank

December 15, 2008 11:58 ET

Update: First Bank Raises $19 Million and Closes Recapitalization; Prepares for Market Expansion

EWING, NJ--(Marketwire - December 15, 2008) - First Bank (OTCBB: FRBA) consummated its capital offering and recapitalization on Friday, October 24, 2008. The investor group raised over $19 million in new capital as part of the transaction. In the offering, investors purchased a unit from First Bank for $7.90 per unit. Each unit entitles a holder to one share of common stock and 1/4 of a warrant to purchase a share. The warrants have a term of five years and a strike price of $9.00 per share.

In accordance with the terms of the recapitalization, First Bank has increased the size of its Board of Directors from 9 to 11. The reconstituted Board contains 7 members from the investment group and 4 members from the original First Bank Board. Lead investor Leslie E. Goodman was named Chairman of the Board. Lead investor Patrick L. Ryan was added to the Board and named Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. As reconstituted, the Board of First Bank now consists of Timothy Anonick, Elbert Basolis, David Gibbons, Leslie E. Goodman, Peter Halstead, Sidney L. Hofing, Glenn Josephs, James Loney, James Meehan, Patrick L. Ryan, and Daniel C. Schwartz.

First Bank expects to open its first Mercer County branch location, in Ewing, New Jersey, in late 2008 or early 2009. The bank has received regulatory approval for the branch, and is completing the fit out of the location. The move to a permanent location in Williamstown, New Jersey should occur during the second quarter of 2009.

"The recapitalized First Bank has over $25 million in equity capital and a clean balance sheet," stated Chairman Leslie E. Goodman. He added, "We are in an excellent position to take advantage of the customer dislocation taking place in the market right now. As banks continue to shrink or get acquired, we will be direct beneficiaries." Furthermore, Mr. Goodman continued, "In addition to the capital, we have the team and the expertise to navigate these rocky waters. Our management and Board, collectively, have over 200 years of banking experience."

President and Chief Executive Officer James Loney added, "Our opportunity is immense. When you think of the organizations in our market that have been acquired in the last 12 months (Wachovia, Sovereign, Commerce, Yardville National, Synergy), it's staggering. The number of customers actively looking for a new banking relationship will likely be higher in the next twelve months than at any other time in memory."

"We are investing and building a platform for growth," stated Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Patrick L. Ryan. "This market requires thoughtfulness and prudence -- we understand that and we will act accordingly. Banking is a marathon, not a sprint; the investments we make and the relationships we build over the next couple of years will create the foundation for a great, super-community bank for years to come."

For questions or comments regarding the bank or the recapitalization, please contact James Loney (856 728 3400; or Patrick L. Ryan (609 528 0832;

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