Corrections or additions?
These stories by Peter Mladineo and Barbara Fox were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper
on April 22, 1998. All rights reserved.
Life in the Fast Lane
While the big bank mergers are continuing to make headlines,
small banks are continuing to fill their coffers with fancy moves.
Last week Trenton Savings Bank made $238 million in a stock sale converting
it from a mutual thrift into a publicly held bank. This week, 1st
Constitution Bank, the community bank located on Route 130 in Cranbury,
announced a two-pronged secondary stock offering expected to raise
between $2.5 and $4 million.
This transaction will have two parts: The first is a shareholder rights
offering, which will give current 1st Constitution shareholders the
rights to purchase one share for each share currently owned through
May 15. Simultaneously shares will be sold to the general public.
Overall a total of 250,000 shares will be offered for $12.25 per share.
If necessary, the board of directors will increase the size of the
offering to 350,000 shares. "We’re trying to broaden the number
of shareholders that we have," says Robert E. Mangano, the president
and CEO. "It’s the best of both worlds in that we are certainly
not excluding our existing shareholders but are looking for new shareholders."
1st Constitution was formed in 1989, and raised capital then by issuing
roughly 700,000 shares of stock, which are now traded over-the-counter
on the Electronic Bulletin Board under the symbol FCCY. Shares are
currently selling for $11.50. "We started to trade on the electronic
bulletin board at year-end," says Mangano. "It enables our
shareholders to look it up and get a price. It’s just another way
to keep your shareholders informed."
Since Mangano came aboard in September of 1996, 1st Constitution has
grown from $73 million in size to roughly $100 million. This week
it reported an 84 percent increase in net income in the first quarter
of 1998 compared to the same period in 1997. The higher earnings were
because of an expansion of the net interest income, a result of a
30 percent increase in loans for the first quarter of 1998.
"In the last year or so we have substantially improved the profitability
of the company," says Mangano. "That growth and the improvement
in earnings has really prompted the view of the capital offering."
Mangano, 52, has degrees from St. John’s University (Class of ’78)
and Rutgers University’s Stonier Graduate School of Banking (Class
of ’80). He spent the first 21 years of his career at Midlantic Bank
(now PNC Bank) in Garrett Mountain (Passaic County). Next came a stint
running Urban National Bank, a $200 million community bank based in
Franklin Lakes. Three years later that bank was sold to a larger bank,
1st Constitution will use the money to expand into Middlesex, Mercer,
and Somerset counties, says Mangano, although its small size gives
it a prized agility in these merger-intensive times. As the larger
banks in the area continue consolidating, he explains, certain service
niches are being ignored, a condition that creates niches in areas
like consumer and small business banking. For investors, these conditions
are making community bank stocks very attractive.
For example, Unity Bancorp, the Clinton-based parent company of First
Community Bank, just received a buy recommendation from First Colonial
Securities Group, a Marlton-based investment group that follows community
banks in New Jersey. "It’s no longer looked at as just a cyclical,
staid-type business," says Michael Golden, the president and CEO
of First Colonial Securities and the former vice chairman of Carnegie
Bank. "It has become more of a growth business. That has happened
because the banking laws have been relaxed by the fed over the last
four or five years. Therefore since it’s not as cyclical, the P-E
(price to earnings) ratios have started to climb and the stocks themselves
have started to move out of an old range."
"I think that the strategy that large banks have followed really
incorporates working on larger transactions and the amount of staff
that they have that’s dedicated pretty much focuses on those large
transactions so that there’s a portion of the market that gets overlooked,"
says Mangano. "And on the consumer end you will generally find
smaller banks usually charge less for their service and pay higher
rates on their interest product. The individual has access to senior
management in a smaller bank. You can generally give people answers
quickly because you operate efficiently."
— Peter J. Mladineo
08512-0634. Robert F. Mangano, president and CEO. 609-655-4500;
Princeton 08540. Norman T. George, managing partner. 609-688-0888;
Four alumni from Hoechst Marion Roussel have opened a management consulting
firm in 1,350 square feet in Research Park. They are Roy T. Cherris,
formerly head of microbiological laboratories; E. Ericson, Ph.D, formerly
in charge for US quality operations; Norman George, a strategic director
also with Hoechst; and Louis G. Pavloff, Hoechst Marion Roussel’s
former vice president of operations.
The firm’s specialties include the purchasing, testing, and production,
and distribution of current good management processes, regulatory
compliance, new product launches, facilities planning, and process
president, corporate real estate. 609-282-4201; fax: 609-282-4250.
Merrill Lynch may eventually expand to Hopewell, but in the meantime
it has signed another long-term lease at College Park. Its real estate
division has just announced it will move from Scudder’s Mill Road to a
54,000 square foot building formerly occupied by Rhone Poulenc. Sab
Russo of CB Commercial and Robert Herzog of Merrill Lynch represented
the financial firm, and Vince Marano and Tom Stange of National
Business Parks represented College Road Associates in negotiating the
long term lease.
Merrill Lynch has a conditional deal to buy 450 acres in Hopewell from Bristol-Myers Squibb. While Merrill officials are
wrangling with municipal leaders over sewer requirements, the brokerage obviously has more immediate expansion needs.
Remodeling of 103 College Road has begun with the installation of a new granite-clad lobby and specially designed
chandeliers and wall sconces.
Built in 1982, this property listed for $32,250 gross rent per month
($21.50 to $23.50 per foot, based on a 10-year lease) last fall, and
now only minuscule spaces remain empty in the 11-building park.
Industrial Park, Box 720, Belle Mead 08502. Percy Leaper, president.
908-359-7990; fax, 908-359-0720.
A Belle Mead-based factory owner has announced he will
move to a new 12,000 square foot facility on Reed Road, just north
of I-95. P&P Properties LLC, which is associated with Alta Technologies,
bought a three-acre site from Lovero Construction last June.
The 11-year-old firm is expected to consolidate several facilities
at the new building, designed by Allentown-based G.A. Fett, and to
add some several jobs to the current seven. In addition to the current
buildings on Ilene Court there is a small operation off of Route 31
in Pennington. Percy Leaper — who is joined in the business by
his daughter and son-in-law — says he plans to move on or about
Though Reed Road is home to such parks as Hopewell Industrial Park
and Cardinal Business Park and has such high-tech manufacturing tenants
as Ocean Power Technologies and Diversatech, this facility is on the
Lovero property next to a private home. Paul Goldman of Commercial
Property Network represented buyer and seller. Alta’s basic product
is manufactured in Kentucky, and the Pennington operation will serve
as a finishing plant. Alta Technologies makes protective jacketing
for wire and cable harnesses, industrial hoses, and braided sleevings
used for medical devices. These sleevings are made of plastic monofilaments
and are used for the auto, aerospace, dispensing, electronic, and
marine industries, as well as for medical purposes.
Leaper grew up in suburban Philadelphia, Delaware County, where his
father was vice president of a chemical company. He went to Johns
Hopkins, Class of 1958, and is active on biomedical development committees
there. He has been president of Dale Tech, a manufacturer of extruded
tubing on Route 1 North, vice president of Netvar in Woodbridge, product
manager at AMP in Harrisburg, and most recently part-owner and vice
president of marketing for Voltube Corporation, a manufacturer of
fiberglass coated sleevings in Edison.
"We developed techniques for finishing the product in an extremely
round form which greatly facilitated the application of the material
over wire harnesses," says Leaper, who estimates his firm is either
second or third in market share, with competitors including Bentley
Harris, located outside of Philadelphia, and Colorado-based Western
He handles sales, marketing and administration, while his son in law
runs the manufacturing, and his daughter is in charge of the office.
"We try to keep a low overhead approach to the business, but we
definitely needed to grow and consolidate."
08540. Boris Fridman, president. 609-734-0300; fax, 609-683-5019.
The developer of wireless communications software moved to 7,600 at
600 Alexander Road from 4,750 square feet at from 158 Wall Street,
Research Park. The staff size has increased from approximately 20
to 35 employees. Tamara Kanoc, Nettech’s marketing manager, explains
that the wireless data communications market has expanded over the
last year. "And we’ve also increased our customer based over 50
percent in the last year," she says.
Cyanamid in 1990 after 43 years.
for the Pennington office of Trenton Savings Bank.
with St. Francis Medical Center.
School for Music Study on Main Street in Kingston and produced a library
of materials for piano students.
Corrections or additions?
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