CORNELIUS, North Carolina–(GLOBE NEWSWIRE)–Aquesta Financial Holdings, Inc. (“Aquesta”) (OTC Markets symbol AQFH), the parent company of Aquesta Bank, announced today that it has successfully closed a $15.0 million private placement of shares (the “Shares”) of common stock and a newly issued series of convertible perpetual preferred stock (“Preferred Stock”). The Shares were issued at $11.50 per share and net proceeds from the offering were approximately $14.1 million. Castle Creek Capital LLC (“Castle Creek”), a California based private equity firm and leading investor in the financial institutions sector, was the investor in the offering. Certain members of Aquesta’s Board of Directors have also agreed to purchase an additional $200,000 of Aquesta common stock in the transaction.
Net proceeds from the private placement transaction will support Aquesta’s continued organic growth and expansion in the Carolinas. Following the closing of the private placement, Castle Creek owns 9.9 percent of Aquesta’s voting common stock and the entirety of a new class of non-voting Preferred Stock, which is convertible into voting and non-voting shares of Aquesta common stock under certain circumstances. Castle Creek also received a warrant for 150,000 shares of Aquesta voting common stock, exercisable at a price of $11.50 per share, in whole or in part and at any time or from time to time, during the next seven years.
Aquesta CEO and President Jim Engel stated, “Castle Creek is a sophisticated and experienced investor specializing in community banks. We are very pleased that they have chosen to invest in Aquesta. Their investment is a validation of Aquesta’s strength, strategy and market opportunity. Aquesta recently announced its strongest quarter and year since it was formed more than 12 years ago. This investment will allow us to continue to expand and better serve our community.”