Frequent bank investor Thomas Brown has taken a stake in Mercantile Bank Corp. of Grand Rapids, Mich.

Brown's hedge fund, Second Curve Capital, said in a Wednesday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it now owns 442,707 shares, or a 5.1% stake, in the $1.8 billion-asset company. Mercantile's bank unit was well capitalized at the end of the third quarter, but nonperforming assets were 5.1% of total assets at Sept. 30.

Second Curve also holds positions in small banking companies such as the $4.6 billion-asset Taylor Capital Group Inc. in Chicago and the $1.4 billion-asset Tennessee Commerce Bancorp Inc. in Franklin.

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