Published May 16, 2012
First Community Corp. of Lexington said Tuesday it proposed a public offering of up to $12.5 million in shares of its common stock, par value $1.00 per share.
The holding company for First Community Bank said it would use the estimated $11.5 million in proceeds to repurchase all of its outstanding Series T Preferred Stock and, potentially, the warrant issued to the U.S. Treasury as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
First Community Bank operates 11 offices in Lexington, Richland, Newberry and Kershaw counties.
The U.S. Treasury is divesting itself of the bank ownership it acquired as part of the TARP program in 2008 and 2009. Already, the Treasury auctioned the $65 million in stock it had in Charleston’s First Financial Holdings Inc., the parent of First Federal Bank.
While no other auctions have been announced, more are likely. Greenville-based Southern First Bancshares Inc. registered 17,299 preferred shares owned by the Treasury in advance of a potential auction. Southern First will not receive any proceeds from the sale.
The preferred stock pays a 5% annual dividend until 2013, when it will increase to 9%.
First Community, Southern First and First Financial were among 20 South Carolina-based banks to receive investments from the Treasury through the TARP program. So far, seven of those banks have repaid and are no longer part of the program. In some cases, the Treasury lost money.
Through TARP, the federal government still owns stakes in about 343 banks and is owed roughly $12 billion. The department said its options are to sell or restructure the investments, or wait for banks to repay.
Treasury investments in S.C. banks (millions)