Sun Bancorp has signed a definitive investment agreements with private equity funds affiliated with WL Ross & Co, the bank's founding Brown Family shareholders, and others, to invest $100m in the aggregate in shares of the company's common stock and newly authorized preferred stock that is mandatorily convertible into common stock upon the receipt of shareholder approval, all as part of the company's strategic growth plan.

The shares to be purchased by WL Ross will represent 24.9% of the company’s outstanding common stock, pro forma for the closing and assuming the conversion of the convertible preferred stock. The investment was made at $4 per share.

Sun Bancorp said that the additional equity capital will be used by its subsidiary Sun National Bank to strengthen and expand current operations as well as to pursue growth opportunities throughout the state of New Jersey.

Thomas Geisel, president and CEO of Sun Bancorp, said: “This transaction further strengthens our capital base, and ensures we have all the tools necessary to support our customers. This is an important step forward for the bank, our shareholders and the communities we serve.

“The high degree of interest expressed by WL Ross and our largest shareholder, the Brown Family, underscores the power of our business model, with its substantial strengths in commercial and consumer banking.”

Wilbur Ross, Jr, CEO and chairman of WL Ross, said: “Sun has a comprehensive and focused business plan and is well situated in a dynamic market. We are impressed with the management team assembled under the leadership of Tom Geisel and look forward to our partnership with the company and the Brown Family.”