By Hanah Cho, The Baltimore Sun
5:43 PM EDT, July 18, 2011
A key deadline for Baltimore's First Mariner Bancorp to raise at least $70.3 million passed Monday without any word on whether the company has met that fundraising goal to keep alive a capital deal that would ensure the company's survival.
The parent of 1st Mariner Bank — which has been under regulatory pressure to raise additional capital for the past two years — agreed to a much-needed cash infusion from a New York investment firm in April. Priam Capital's $36.4 million injection is contingent on First Mariner raising an additional $123.6 million from other investors.
The arrangement allows Priam to terminate the deal if First Mariner did not raise at least $70.3 million by Monday or the entire $123.6 million by Sept. 1, according to regulatory filings. The agreement sets other termination clauses, including not closing the deal by Oct. 16, according to regulatory documents.
First Mariner Chairman and CEO Edwin F. Hale Sr. declined to comment Monday through his assistant. Howard Feinglass, a Baltimore native who heads Priam Capital, did not return a message Monday.
Since September 2009, the bank has been under federal regulatory orders to improve capital levels. While First Mariner has raised at least $25 million since then through various methods — among other steps, Hale appealed to local teachers and retirees to buy stock in the company — it has not met the higher capital requirements.
Citing "recurring losses" and "a limited capital base," auditors warned in March that First Mariner might not be able to remain in business.
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