First Community Bancshares Inc. in Bluefield, Va., appears poised to make acquisitions after raising $19 million in fresh capital.

The $2.2 billion-asset company said this week that it raised the funds through a private placement offered to a small number of accredited investors. In a news release, Chief Executive Officer John M. Mendez said it plans to use the capital as the "foundation" for executing its growth plan.

"Opportunities abound in today's marketplace, and … we are prepared to take advantage of those opportunities that offer strategic fit and strong returns," Mendez said.

First Community operates 54 branches in Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina. The company said last year that it would be interested in expanding within those states as in well as moving into South Carolina.

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