VantageSouth Bancshares (VSB) in Raleigh, N.C., plans to sell up to $50 million of preferred stock to leave the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

The $1.7 billion-asset company plans to sell the shares through a public offering, it disclosed in a prospectus filed with regulators Tuesday. VantageSouth did not announce the pricing of the offering, which will be underwritten by Keefe, Bruyette & Woods and Sandler O'Neill.

VantageSouth plans to use most of the proceeds to repay the Treasury Department $42.8 million for the outstanding preferred stock it issued through Tarp and $1.5 million for a warrant to buy about 1.3 million shares of the company's common stock, the filing said.

Earlier this month, VantageSouth raised $38 million by taking on subordinated debt. Crescent Financial Bancshares bought VantageSouth last year. The combined company converted to the VantageSouth name in July.

Banks have been racing to exit Tarp before the interest rate on Tarp debt jumps to 9% from 5% at the five-year anniversary of the issuance of the debt.

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