A founder and former director of North Carolina's Triangle Bank is leading a group buying two Triangle branches as the nucleus of a new bank.

Former Triangle director O.A. "Buddy" Keller's company, NB Acquisition Corp., signed a contract Thursday to buy two Triangle branches in Sanford that will have $26 million in deposits and at least $10 million in loans.

Mr. Keller, who owns an environmental company and plans to raise as much as $20 million to capitalize the as-yet-unnamed bank, was one of the organizers of Triangle in 1988 and until six weeks ago was a board member. He said he quit the board on good terms.

He said the new bank plans to apply to open two branches in Raleigh, as well, giving the bank four branches out of the gate.

"We felt both communities were lacking community banks," Mr. Keller said.

Michael S. Patterson, chief executive of Triangle, said in a statement the decision to sell the two branches in Sanford - southwest of Raleigh - marks a decision to concentrate on Triangle's core market of Raleigh- Durham.

Triangle has been one of the fastest-growing banks in the country, with $880 million in assets on June 30.

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