On April 23, 2007, First Bank commenced operations at its office at 1229 South Black Horse Pike in Williamstown, NJ. In October 2008, an investor group led by Patrick L. Ryan and Leslie E. Goodman recapitalized the bank with an investment of $19 million from various local investors.
In February 2009, First Bank opened its second branch office in Lawrence, NJ. A third branch office was opened shortly thereafter in Ewing, NJ. Both locations were examples of the bank’s low-cost strategy of entering previously-occupied bank locations and re-opening with minimal cost and capital investment.
Construction of the bank’s full-service branch location in Williamstown was completed in September of 2009.
In December 2010, First Bank established a true corporate headquarters by moving into the old Yardville National Bank (YNB) headquarters building located in Hamilton, NJ at 2465 Kuser Road. The former YNB branch at that same location was opened as a First Bank branch one year later in December 2011. As the bank has continued to expand, the First Bank team now occupies the entire first floor of the building and part of the second floor.
In July 2013, First Bank announced the acquisition of Heritage Community Bank (HCB) based in Morris County, NJ. The merger closed on March 7, 2014. The combined franchise at the time had approximately $600 million in assets. On September 16, 2013, we opened a new branch location in Somerset, NJ at 225 DeMott Lane. This marked our fifth full-service branch location in New Jersey, and our first location in Somerset County. This location provides another example of our low-cost approach to branch banking with its smaller footprint, reasonable rental rate, and minimal capital investment required (since it was previously used as a bank branch location). Our Somerset location also helped to bridge the gap between our Mercer County locations, and our acquired Morris County locations.
On November 20, 2013, we completed our initial public offering, raising $23 million before underwriting discounts, commissions, and expenses. Our stock now trades on the NASDAQ Global Market under the ticker symbol FRBA. The new capital was used to support the HCB Acquisition as well as support future organic growth.
Our ninth branch was opened on October 20, 2014 in Cranbury, New Jersey. Our first branch in Pennsylvania, our tenth for the franchise, was opened in Trevose in May 2015.
On April 30, 2015, we completed a $22 million private placement of fixed-to-floating rate subordinated debentures and on June 30, 2016 we raised $13.4 million in equity, after expenses, through the private placement of 1,890,000 shares of common stock at a price of $7.25 per share. We have deployed the additional capital for general corporate purposes, organic growth initiatives and our merger and acquisition strategies.
To further support our growth initiatives, in June 2017, we completed the issuance of 3.5 million shares of common stock in a public offering at a price of $11.40 per share. As a result, we realized $37.5 million in proceeds, net of underwriting discounts and offering expenses.
The additional capital helped support the costs of the acquisition of Bucks County Bank completed on September 15, 2017. At the time of closing of the merger Bucks County Bank had $197.6 million in total assets, $175.6 million in total loans, $155.1 million in total deposits and $21.1 million in total stockholders’ equity. As a result of the acquisition we added four additional branches in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
To strengthen our presence in southern New Jersey we completed the acquisition of Delanco Federal Savings Bank on April 30, 2018. At the time of closing of the merger Delanco Federal Savings Bank had $122.4 million in total assets, $82.5 million in total loans, $108.5 million in total deposits and $12.7 million in total stockholders’ equity. As a result of the acquisition we added two branches in Burlington County, New Jersey.
On March 19, 2019, First Bank announced a definitive agreement to acquire Grand Bank, N.A. in a stock transaction valued at approximately $19.4 million. The merger has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both institutions and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2019, subject to the approval of First Bank and Grand Bank shareholders, as well as customary regulatory approvals.
As of March 31, 2019, First Bank had sixteen branches, $1.78 billion in assets, $1.5 billion in loans, and $1.5 billion in deposits. We have approximately 180 employees working throughout New Jersey in Burlington, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset and Morris counties and Bucks and Chester counties in Pennsylvania.
As we continue to grow and expand, we remain committed to doing our part to help grow the economy and create value for our shareholders and stakeholders. With new branches, new markets, new products, and new technology all under consideration, we’re excited for the future.