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Republic First Bancorp in preliminary talks with shareholders to raise capital

(Reuters) - Republic First Bancorp is in talks with a group led by activist investor George Norcross regarding an equity investment and a broader capital raise, according to a regulatory filing on Tuesday.

Although discussions are still preliminary, Norcross expects that such a transaction could provide for the resolution of pending litigation involving the bank, he said in the filing.

The company last week saw its shares getting delisted from the Nasdaq after it failed to file its annual report with the securities regulator for the fiscal year 2022. It now expects its common stock to begin trading on the over-the-counter marketplace.

The company may apply to list on a major exchange after it files all delayed reports and meets other listing requirements.

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Norcross also said he expect the transaction would provide for changes to the Philadelphia-based bank's governance arrangements, including board representation by Norcorss Barca Group, and could include reimbursement of certain expenses of the group.

The regional lender was reeling with higher costs and inability to improve profitability that prompted it to cut jobs and exit its mortgage origination business earlier in the year.

(Reporting by Jaiveer Singh Shekhawat in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)