Premara Financial in Charlotte, N.C., has raised $8.5 million in a stock offering and plans to exit the Small Business Lending Fund program.

The $242 million-asset holding company for Carolina Premier Bank sold about 1.2 million shares at $7 each in a private placement of common stock, according to a Tuesday news release.

Premara will use the proceeds to retire its $6.2 million of outstanding SBLF preferred stock. It expects to exit SBLF within the next few weeks, pending Treasury approval. Premara issued the stock to Treasury in September 2011.

Premara had aimed to address its capital structure by retiring its preferred stock before next year, when rates on SBLF shares will rise to 9% from 1%, Chief Executive David Barksdale said.

Premara plans to use remaining proceeds to improve balance sheet growth.

Boenning & Scattergood was placement agent on the stock offering.

Separately, Premara has named Coleman Clougherty to its holding company and bank boards. Clougherty is executive vice president of retail banking strategy at fintech company BancVue in Austin, Texas.

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