Centrue Financial in Ottawa, Ill., appears to have finally found its white knight.

The $868 million-asset company said Monday that it has agreed to sell $75 million of its common stock to the New York private-equity group Capital Z Partners. Under the proposed deal, Capital Z Partners would acquire 187.5 million of Centrue's shares at 40 cents each. Capital Z, which in 2013 recapitalized the struggling Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin, would own 24% of Centrue's outstanding common stock when the transaction is completed.

Centrue has been looking to replenish its capital since suffering massive losses on loan defaults following the real estate crash. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. the company lost more than $110 million between 2009 and 2012.

"Our board and management team had been actively pursuing capital alternatives to strengthen our capital position for some time, and we look forward to this new relationship with Capital Z," Kurt Stevenson, Centrue's president and chief executive, said in a news release. "Upon completion of this transaction, we believe we will be better positioned to reinvest in our existing markets, enhance our current product and service offerings, and continue to build an experienced and impactful sales force."

In a follow-up interview, Stevenson said that the deal's completion is contingent upon Capital Z raising at least $72 million from investors. The company must also meet a number of conditions before the deal closes, including the repurchase of stock held by the Treasury Department and the repayment or other settlement of its existing subordinated debt facility.

The stock sale also must be approved by regulators and Centrue's shareholders. The company has called a special meeting for Sept. 23, at which shareholders will vote on the proposal to increase the number of outstanding shares from 15 million to 215 million.

Stevenson said he expects the deal to close in the fourth quarter.

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