A shareholder group led by George Norcross has offered to invest $100 million into Republic First Bancorp, up from an earlier $75 million offer, but only if the bank holding company agrees to meet with the activist by end of day Tuesday.
To make the offer more attractive, the activists holding around 10% of shares reduced the number of board seats demanded from three to two and removed an earlier demand to replace the company’s chief executive officer.
According to the revised deal terms disclosed Monday, Norcross and his associates would purchase newly issued Republic First preferred stock for $2.35 per share.
However, one condition of the offer it that “representatives of the company and the investors meet to discuss the proposal and other relevant matters no later than January 10.”
So far, there is no indication that a meeting has been scheduled. Both the company and activist were unavailable for comment as of publication.
“The final [stock purchase] price will be determined based on the in person meeting and the results of due diligence,” Norcross stated, adding that “we are open to discussing alternative structures.”
An earlier investment proposal by the activist on December 9 included the appointment of group member Gregory Braca as the chief executive. Braca, a former top executive at TD Bank, was rejected as the group’s director candidate for Republic First 2022 annual meeting.
While Braca remains part of the activist group, and personally holds a 0.7% stake, the revised proposal does not include a demand for Braca’s appointment as CEO. Republic First Bancorp named former Webster Bank executive Thomas Geisel as its new CEO on December 22, replacing Harry Madonna.
The revised proposal helped Republic First’s stock gain 11% Monday to close at $2.54 per share.