Financial details of the transaction, expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2023, were not disclosed.
The deal would mark the 10th instance this year in which a credit union would acquire a bank. That type of combination has traditionally rankled trade groups such as the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), which argue credit unions’ tax-exempt status allows them to offer a higher purchase price in acquisitions than banks can, and lets them grow more freely.
Credit unions bought a record 16 banks in 2019. At the current rate, 2022 would match that record.
In January, Michael Bell, a leading bank M&A attorney, predicted a record “25-plus” deals between credit unions and banks in 2022, according to American Banker. While the year began with a torrid pace for deals, none had been announced since Lombard, Illinois-based Credit Union 1 said in June it would buy substantially all the assets and liabilities of NorthSide Community Bank, also in the Chicago area.
Harvesters said the combined company will have 10 locations. The credit union now counts $275 million in assets, compared with First National Bank’s $216 million.
“Both organizations are locally owned and operated with leadership that has spent all of their lives, and careers, here in Northwest Florida,” Harvesters CEO Keith Golden said in the press release. “This union will allow us to continue offering the extraordinary service that only a local organization can provide.”
Golden will be the CEO of the combined organization, American Banker reported. Angie Barger, First National Bank’s CEO, will remain with the company in a senior position, but her future role has not yet been announced, according to the outlet.
"This is the perfect match as both institutions share the same philosophy of providing superior customer service and maintaining a local community feel,” Barger said. “You will never be a number.”
August last year marked the hottest month of the year for credit union-bank tie-ups, as five such deals were announced over a 15-day span.