An investor group led by Bartow Morgan, Jr., recently completed the acquisition of the Georgia Banking Company following the private placements of $125 million in common equity and $55 million in subordinated debt.
The company will use the proceeds raised from the equity and debt sales to help build a commercial and private banking franchise with the technology and breadth of products to serve middle market businesses across several key sub-markets in northern metro Atlanta. Commercial lending, including commercial real estate, will be paired with treasury management services. The bank plans to move its headquarters later this year from Sandy Springs to 1776 Peachtree Road in Atlanta.
Patriot Financial Partners was the lead institutional investor in the equity raise with FJ Capital Management as the second largest institutional investor. Both investors will have representatives serve on the company’s board of directors. Long-time Georgia banker Jim Lientz, a partner in Safe Harbor Consulting, will serve as chairman of the board.
The bank will also continue to provide its unique set of mortgage products to independent mortgage bankers across the nation. Key executives and other personnel from this organization will remain.
“There is a need for an entrepreneurial community bank where the senior management team has established relationships throughout metro Atlanta and can provide a broad range of deposit and lending services,” said Morgan, who will serve as chief executive officer. “With the local economy’s projected growth, we see plenty of opportunities to reach small- and medium-size businesses that need a local lender.”
Performance Trust Capital Partners served as exclusive financial adviser and sole placement agent for both the common equity and debt offerings. Troutman Pepper served as legal advisor.
The acquisition completes Morgan’s return to banking in metro Atlanta. His great, great grandfather, E.M. Brand, founded Brand Bank in Gwinnett County in 1905, making Morgan the fifth-generation family member in the banking business. Brand Bank was sold to Renasant Corporation in 2018.