Kenneth Lehman is getting ready to increase his stake in Liberty Bell Bank (LBBB) in Marlton, N.J.

The $158 million-asset company said in a press release Friday that it will sell $2.9 million of common stock to Lehman, an individual investor, for $1 each. The company plans to sell another $2.1 million in stock to other investors. Liberty Bell said it expects to complete the offering by May 12.

Lehman already owns about 16.9% of Liberty Bell's stock after buying the shares from Beneficial Mutual last year. The offerings are structure so that Lehman's stake will not trigger an "ownership change" at the bank.

"The completion of this capital raise will allow us to be in compliance with all of the provisions of the Consent Orders issued to us by our regulators last fall," Kevin Kutcher, Liberty Bell's president and chief executive, said in the release. "We are very excited that we have the support of our largest shareholder... as we continue positioning ourselves for a prosperous future."

Kucher also said he hopes to add Lehman to Liberty Bell's board once the offerings are completed.

The agreement also allows Lehman to identify up to $9 million in problem assets that would become part of an asset-resolution plan. "This plan will provide for the disposition, work-out or other resolution of the problem assets within 18 months after the closing date, based upon the additional capital raised," the release said.

Lehman has a similar arrangement in place with Four Oaks Fincorp (FOFN) in Four Oaks, N.C. He also has large stakes in Delmar Bancorp in Salisbury, Md.; Marine Bank & Trust in Vero Beach, Fla.; and First Capital (FCVA) in Glen Allen, Va.

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