First National Bank of the Gulf Coast in Naples on Friday sold the first $40 million of common stock under a planned $148 million private placement.

The $329.4 million-asset company said the initial inflow will be used to fund organic growth along Florida's west coast.

The remaining $108 million will be used for other expansion opportunities, including the purchase of failed banks from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

"We believe that the market conditions are right for an independent community bank seeking to expand," Gary L. Tice, the bank's chairman and chief executive, said in a press release.

The bank has been selling common stock at $5 a share to a group of investors that includes Lightyear Capital LLC and GMT Capital Corp.

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