With Paragon deal underway, TowneBank makes another buy in N.C.

OUTLET: Triangle Business Journal

As it pushes to finalize its pending purchase of Raleigh’s Paragon Commercial Corporation, TowneBank has completed another buyout in North Carolina.

TowneBank subsidiary Towne Insurance has closed on the acquisition of Kinston-based W.A. Moore Insurance.

Cover story: Where have our community banks gone?

While it’s a separate transaction from Paragon, Dudley Fulton, president and CEO of Towne Insurance, says it’s part of the firm’s overall North Carolina strategy. And it likely won’t be the last deal to touch the region.
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Dudley Fulton Person
TowneBank Company
W.A. Moore Person

“Our operation in Raleigh, from an insurance perspective, is modest, and we definitely want to expand that considerably,” he said in an interview Tuesday. “We will be following Paragon and TowneBank in Raleigh just as soon as we find the right partner to join us.”

Founded in 1924, W.A. Moore focuses on property and casualty insurance, as well as risk management analysis across a range of industries. Its specialization is in assisted living facilities. The firm will continue to operate under its current name and at its present location “for the immediate future,” according to the bank.

Towne Insurance, which has a substantial operation in Greenville, is eyeing the region’s “strong economic growth,” he says. The unit entered the state in 2011, and the W.A. Moore deal is the sixth acquisition the agency has completed as part of its growth initiatives in North Carolina.

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Towne Insurance has about 300 employees. Its parent, TowneBank, operates 37 banking offices across Virginia and parts of North Carolina and has assets of $8.4 billion. The firm announced its intent to acquire Paragon in April. That deal will create a $9.7 billion community bank, giving Towne access to both the Raleigh and Charlotte markets.

The deal is scheduled to close in the fourth quarter.

TowneBank (Nasdaq: TOWN) shares were flat Tuesday, closing at $30.65. Paragon (Nasdaq: PBNC) shares closed at $51.60, up less than 1 percent.

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