Majority investor increases stake in Village Bank

village bank sign

A Village Bank sign at its Willow Lawn office. (Michael Schwartz)

A local bank’s largest shareholder has tightened his grip on the company.

Ken Lehman, a seasoned investor in smaller banks and former SEC attorney from Northern Virginia, increased his stake in Midlothian-based Village Bank in recent weeks.

Lehman spent nearly $650,000 in two transactions this month to purchase 18,760 shares of the company’s common stock.

He now owns 715,000 shares of Village stock, which trades under the symbol of VBFC. That accounts for 49.2 percent of the company’s outstanding shares, making him by far the bank’s largest shareholder. The next-largest owner, according to the bank’s most recent proxy statement, is CEO Bill Foster, who held more than 26,000 shares.

Those shares are worth approximately $25 million, based on the stock’s closing price of $35.08 on Monday.

Emails to Lehman and Foster were not returned by Monday afternoon.

The share purchases come six months after Lehman resigned from Village’s board of directors for undisclosed reasons.

Ken Lehman

Ken Lehman

Lehman put up $8 million to purchase his controlling stake in Village in 2015, when he led a capital raise that netted the bank $14.5 million. Lehman bought in at the time at $13.87 per share.

He first entered the Richmond banking market in 2012 when he bought a large stake in the former First Capital Bancorp. He successfully exited that investment when First Capital was acquired in 2016 by Park Sterling Bank, which since has been gobbled up by South State Bank.

In addition to his stake in Village Bank, Lehman’s previous investments include Virginia Commerce Bancorp, Tower Bancorp, Four Oaks Bank & Trust, Marine Bank & Trust, The Bank of Delmarva and Liberty Bell Bank.

One of his more recent investments came in 2016 when he bought a chunk of Fredericksburg-based Virginia Partners Bank.

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