Six North Carolina businessmen and banking veterans made up the group that raised $13 million to buy First Carolina State Bank in Rocky Mount, N.C., from Capitol Bancorp (CRBC).

The group raised the funds from local investors who have an interest in the markets served by the $76 million-asset First Carolina, Commerce Street Capital said Monday. Commerce advised the group in the capital raise. The group had formed a holding company, First Carolina Financial Services, to buy the bank.

Jay Orr, a vice president at Commerce, managed the capital raise on-site in North Carolina with John Williams, the chairman of First Carolina Financial Services, and Ronald Day, a former chief operating officer of RBC Bank who will become the bank's chief executive.

Commerce has helped other banks raise funds to buy majority stakes from Capitol. In October, it advised Evansville Commerce Bank in Indiana in raising $4.6 million to buy the majority interest controlled by Capitol. In December 2010 it completed a similar stock redemption agreement for NBC Bancshares to raise almost $9 million to buy the majority stake from Capitol.

The $1.9 billion-asset Capitol has struggled for several years to recapitalize its ailing banks. Last week, the Lansing, Mich., company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in an effort to recapitalize. In July, the company said it had sold its interest in First Carolina and the $90 million-asset Bank of Michigan.

First Carolina has three branches in Reidsville, Rocky Mount and Greenville, N.C.

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