Castle Creek Capital, a California private-equity firm, has invested $27 million in fast-growing NBC Holding Co. in New Orleans.

NBC said Thursday that Castle Creek, which is led by well-known community bank investor John Eggemeyer, bought more than 2.4 million shares of its common and preferred stock at $12.25 each.

In a news release, NBC Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Aston Ryan said that the company would use the proceeds to enhance its capital position and support future growth, which could include acquisitions.

"We are very pleased with Castle Creek's strong interest in our banking franchise and our commitment to the growth of New Orleans and its surrounding markets," Ryan said. "This is a tremendous expression of their confidence in the company and its future."

NBC is the holding company for NBC Bank, which has 13 offices in Orleans and Jefferson counties.

The five-year-old bank has nearly doubled its assets in the last two years, to $1.6 billion at March 31. It earned $4.2 million in the first quarter, an increase of 134% over the same period in 2010.

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