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Iberia buys Florida Gulf Bank

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  • | 10:33 p.m. March 19, 2012
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FORT MYERS — Louisiana-based IberiaBank has agreed to buy Florida Gulf Bancorp for nearly $44 million, the holding company of Fort Myers-based Florida Gulf Bank.

The deal equated to 1.41 times book value, more generous than recent bank transactions that have traded at or below book value in the last few years. The transaction is scheduled to be completed in the third quarter, pending regulatory approval.

Florida Gulf Bancorp shareholders will be paid mostly with IberiaBank stock and a cash incentive of $4.4 million contingent on performance of loans over the next three years.

William Valenti, the president and CEO of Florida Gulf, will be named executive vice president and market president for IberiaBank's Lee County franchise following the completion of the deal. Daryl Byrd, the president and CEO of IberiaBank, was in Fort Myers to make the announcement on Monday afternoon and visit the branches.

As of Dec. 31, Florida Gulf Bank had $350 million in assets and reported net income of $600,000 in 2011 from eight branches in the Fort Myers-Cape Coral area. The Fort Myers bank is widely considered one of the healthier community banks on the Gulf Coast and this is one of the few deals that haven't involved regulator intervention.

IberiaBank, based in Lafayette, La., first entered the Southwest Florida market when it acquired two failed banks in November 2009 from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.: Orion Bank in Naples and Century Bank in Sarasota. Click here to read a recent interview with Keith Short, IberiaBank's market president for Lee, Collier and Monroe counties.

The acquisition increases IberiaBank's presence in Lee County, where there is little overlap with existing IberiaBank branches. IberiaBank says branch employees will retain their jobs.

IberiaBank has $11.7 billion in assets and reported net income of $74 million in 2011. The bank is publicly traded (symbol: IBKC; recent price: $55).


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