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Arkansas lender buys C1 Bank in $402M deal

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  • | 5:54 p.m. November 10, 2015
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  • Tampa Bay-Lakeland
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ST. PETERSBURG — Bank of the Ozarks, a lender growing fast on the Gulf Coast, has acquired a prize asset: C1 Bank.

The all-stock transaction, of C1 Financial Inc. and C1 Bank, its wholly owned subsidiary, is valued at roughly $402.5 million, or $25 per C1 share, according to a release. Under the agreement, each holder of outstanding shares of C1 stock will receive shares of common Ozark stock. The deal is expected to close by the second quarter.

Trevor Burgess, president and CEO of C1 Bank, will be chief innovation officer of Bank of the Ozarks, and president of its Florida operations after the deal closes. The acquisition will expand Bank of the Ozarks presence in Florida from 10 to 42 locations.

St. Petersburg-based C1 Financial operates 31 banking centers and one loan production office on Florida's west coast and in Miami-Dade and Orange counties. Through Sept. 30, it had $1.7 billion of total assets.

Little Rock, Ark.-based Bank of the Ozarks Inc. is a bank holding company that had $9.3 billion in total assets through Sept. 30. It has operations in nine states, including Arkansas, Florida and New York.

Rumors that C1 Bank was up for sale surfaced Sept. 28 in the financial press. At least two Wall Street analysts who follow the bank posted reports saying a sale wouldn't be a big surprise, based on timing and the current market.


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