- Stuart, Florida-based Seacoast Bank will acquire Sarasota-based Sabal Palm Bank and Melbourne-based Florida Business Bank, the bank announced in a press release Monday.
- Both all-stock transactions are expected to close in the first quarter of 2022, pending regulator and shareholder approval. The deals value Sabal Palm at $53.9 million and Business Bank of Florida at about $28.4 million.
- The Sabal Palm deal gives the $9.3 billion-asset Seacoast an entry point to the Sarasota market, while acquiring Florida Business Bank would further entrench Seacoast in Brevard County. The banks together would add $600 million in assets to Seacoast, bringing it just shy of a $10 billion threshold.
Seacoast has built a reputation as a serial acquirer. The bank has closed 10 acquisitions over the past decade, according to American Banker, including First Green Bank — an early effort founded by values-based entrepreneur Ken LaRoe. Most recently, Seacoast this month closed its acquisition of Boca Raton-based Legacy Bank, a tie-up it announced in March.
“Sabal Palm Bank and Florida Business Bank are two highly successful, local community banking franchises. Both institutions are customer-focused franchises with an outstanding reputation for service excellence and deep customer relationships in their markets,” said Charles M. Shaffer, Seacoast's president and CEO. “We see great opportunity to complement their strengths with Seacoast’s innovation and breadth of offerings to grow our presence and expand our position in two very attractive Florida markets.”
August has been torrid with mergers and acquisitions across the banking industry, although a number of the deals announced — five thus far — have been credit unions acquiring banks.
Michael Bell, co-leader of the financial institutions practice group at Honigman, told Banking Dive last year that bank acquisitions would see a marked uptick in 2021 after a COVID-19-related halt in 2020.
"Depending on when [the pandemic] ends, I expect all of those things that are paused to heat right up,” he said. "2021 will be busier than it was going to be."
The Sabal Palm and Florida Business Bank deals could boost Seacoast’s brink footprint to 56. Sabal Palm Bank operates three branches across the Sarasota market with deposits of about $377 million and loans of $272 million as of June 30, Seacoast said in Monday’s press release. Florida Business Bank has one branch in Melbourne, along with deposits of about $166 million and loans of $136 million.
Once the deal is complete, Sabal Palm CEO Neil McCurry will become Seacoast’s Sarasota and Manatee County market president.
“Sabal Palm Bank has always been passionate about serving the needs of our community and working side by side with our customers to help them achieve their financial goals,” McCurry said. “We are delighted to partner with Seacoast, which shares our values and has been serving Florida consumers and businesses for more than 90 years.”
The value of the acquisitions may fluctuate because the exchange ratios are fixed. Sabal Palm shareholders are set to receive 0.2203 shares of Seacoast stock for each Sabal Palm share they own. Shareholders of Business Bank of Florida Corp. (BBFC) — Florida Business Bank’s holding company — are expected to receive 0.7997 shares of Seacoast stock for each of their shares. The estimated deal values are based on Seacoast’s closing price of $31.58 as of Friday.
“We share Seacoast’s commitment to providing best in class customer service, local decision making, and building a highly motivated management team,” Zuheir Sofia, BBFC’s chairman and CEO, said in Monday’s release. “Our customers will be able to take advantage of Seacoast’s convenient statewide network and an impressive array of products and services.”