NCAL Bancorp in Los Angeles has raised nearly $11 million in the first stage of its stock sale.

Alex Meruelo, founder of Meruelo Group in Downey, Calif., bought nearly 20 million shares of NCAL's common stock. The investor had already paid $3.9 million for all outstanding shares of preferred stock NCAL had sold to the Treasury Department.

Meruelo can buy another $10.2 million in common shares, at 54 cents each, over the next year as part of the next stage of NCAL's recapitalization. Meruelo will own roughly 89% of NCAL's stock, though the transactions still need approval from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

The $340 million-asset company is recapitalizing to follow an August 2012 regulatory order that required it to clean up its loan book and limit risks. NCAL is operating under a written agreement with the Federal Reserve Board that requires it to support its bank. At Sept. 30, the bank had a Tier 1 leverage ratio of 5.72% and total risk-based capital of 10.34%, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

NCAL agreed in 2012 to sell itself to Grandpoint Capital, though that deal fell through last year.

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