RALEIGH, N.C., Feb. 23, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Crescent Financial Corporation (Nasdaq:CRFN) and Piedmont Community Bank Holdings, Inc., announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which Piedmont will invest $75 million in Crescent and therefore acquire a majority interest in the company.

Michael G. Carlton, president and chief executive officer of Crescent State Bank, commented that, "this transaction is an exciting step forward for Crescent's customers, shareholders and employees."

Adam Abram, chairman of Piedmont, will be named chairman of Crescent Financial, and Scott Custer, president and chief executive officer of Piedmont, will become chief executive officer of Crescent Financial, upon closing of the transaction. Carlton will continue to serve in his role as president of Crescent Financial and president and chief executive officer of Crescent State Bank.

"This transaction represents a major milestone in our strategic development and will provide a strong platform in the Triangle market, which is in the heart of our geographic footprint," said Custer. "We look forward to working with the Crescent team, who will have the opportunity to contribute significantly to the growth of our combined organization. We are confident that the transaction will create significant opportunities for Crescent shareholders as we continue building a franchise uniquely-positioned to serve the financial needs of our community."

The board of directors of Crescent Financial Corporation will be restructured to include eight designees of Piedmont, including Abram and Custer, as well as four continuing Crescent directors, including Carlton, James A. Lucas Jr., Charles A. Paul III and Brent D. Barringer. These four existing Crescent directors also will be appointed to the board of directors of Piedmont. The closing of the financing is subject to receipt of regulatory and shareholder approvals, as well as other customary conditions.  

The definitive agreement provides that Piedmont will invest $75 million in Crescent in exchange for Crescent common stock priced at $4 per share. As a result of the investment, Piedmont will own approximately 66 percent of Crescent shares on a fully diluted basis.

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