Liberty Bell Bank to raise $5 million

Liberty Bell Bank, of Marlton, said it plans to sell up to $5 million worth of shares for $1 each to help it meet capital requirements under an agreement reached in November with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Kenneth R. Lehman, an investor who specializes in community banks and already is Liberty Bell's largest shareholder, with a 16.95 percent stake, has agreed to buy up to 2.9 million shares. The amount he buys depends on how many of 2.1 million shares offered to the public are sold, the bank said.

The agreement with Lehman, who plans to join Liberty Bell's board, allows him to identify up to $9 million in problem assets that the bank would have to deal with on an accelerated basis, the bank said.

Liberty Bell, which had $110 million in loans and $147 million in deposits at the end of last year, has lost a total of $6.4 million over last two years.

The planned stock offering must be approved by the New Jersey Division of Banking and Insurance.

- Harold Brubaker

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