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REGIONALREPORT Triangle

Come together
 
Scott Custer is playing a complicated game of mix and match. In 2009, the ex-CEO of RBC Bank USA helped start Raleigh-based Piedmont Community Bank Holdings Inc. with the aim of building a statewide banking power through the acquisition of distressed banks. It took control of Burlington-based VantageSouth Bank in 2010, and Community Bank of Rowan and Raleigh-based Crescent Financial Services Inc., parent of Crescent State Bank, in 2011. It then merged Community Bank of Rowan into VantageSouth. But a pair of recent transactions should bring clarity to the company and reveal that Custer is well on his way to achieving his goal. In August, Crescent announced a merger with VantageSouth. A month later, it unveiled a planned acquisition of Engelhard-based ECB Bancorp Inc., parent of The East Carolina Bank. The deal is expected to close next year. The combined bank, called VantageSouth, will be the 10th largest in North Carolina by deposits, with nearly $1.7 billion, and its footprint will span four of the state’s five regions.
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Briefs

RALEIGHPrestage Farms donated $10 million to N.C. State University’s poultry-sciences department. It’s one of the largest gifts in the school’s history. The small department is one of six in the country that focuses on fowl. Prestage is a poultry and pork producer based in Clinton.

CHAPEL HILL Cempra raised about $25 million in a private stock sale and plans to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes and to pay for clinical trials. The company develops drugs that treat bacterial infectious diseases.

CARY Connexion Technologies will liquidate its assets after receiving approval to convert its Chapter 11 bankruptcy to Chapter 7. The telecom company was founded by a former Cary mayor and once employed as many as 600 people. It also did business as Capitol Infrastructure.

MORRISVILLE Etix, the largest private online ticket seller in the U.S. (Regional Report, September), announced that co-founder Travis Janovich will step down as CEO and be replaced by Joe Kustelski, chief product officer at Nashville-based Rockhouse Partners, which Etix acquired in 2011. 

DURHAM — Drugmaker BioCryst Pharmaceuticals will purchase San Francisco-based Presidio Pharmaceuticals for $101 million. The combined company will target infectious diseases, such as hepatitis C and hereditary angioedema.

DURHAM Duke University professor Robert J. Lefkowitz and Brian K. Kobilka, his former student and Stanford University physiology professor, were awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in chemistry for their work on cell-surface receptors. Their research has led to advances in many types of medicine. It is the first Nobel Prize awarded to a professor at the university.