One of the most successful stock offerings for a recent bank start-up was completed this week by a cadre of former Old Kent Bank officers in Michigan.
Community Central Bancorp, based in the northern Detroit suburb of Mount Clemens, raised $10 million by selling one million shares. Most start-up banks in recent years have been content to raise half that.
"It was like wildfire," said Harold W. Allmacher, the chief executive and chairman of the proposed bank. "We increased the number of shares, but even that was oversold. Now we're trying to get people to give up a few shares so others could buy it."
Mr. Allmacher said the bank could be "a bit" overcapitalized, but he plans to expand quickly.
The success of the offering is unusual also because the bank's genesis came just last fall, when Mr. Allmacher and the rest of Community Central's top management quit Old Kent Bank Macomb in Mount Clemens - less than a year after it was acquired by Old Kent Financal Corp. of Grand Rapids. The $10 billion-asset regional bought Mr. Allmacher's old charge, First National Bank in Macomb County, in February 1995. That October, Mr. Allmacher quit in a disagreement with the holding company over a restructuring plan.
Mr. Allmacher said John Canepa, Old Kent's retired chief executive, had made certain commitments about how First National would be run after Old Kent bought it. Mr. Allmacher said those commitments changed when Mr. Canepa retired last November.
"The didn't live up to what they told us," he said. "There's no hard feelings. We just objected to the speed at which they were cutting costs and downsizing."
Old Kent officials said only that their Mount Clemens operation is doing fine.
"We have an exceptionally good team there," said Ralph Garlick, president of Old Kent Bank Metro Detroit. "It includes employees that joined us as part of the First National acquisition whose performance and attitude is consistent with all our acquisitions."
In addition to Mr. Allmacher, the proposed bank's president, Richard Miller, and its chief lending officer all came from First National Bank, which grew from $100 million to $500 million in assets from 1986 to 1995. And two members of Community Central's proposed board served as directors at First National.