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Billion-dollar credit union buys a bank - again

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  • | 4:44 p.m. February 14, 2018
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FORT MYERS — Achieva Credit Union has acquired Fort Myers-based Preferred Community Bank — the second time in the past three years the credit union has made a whole bank purchase in Southwest Florida. It's also the third time a credit union has bought a Southwest Florida bank since 2015.

In a statement released today, the Dunedin-based credit union says it signed a definitive agreement to acquire Preferred, which had $118 million in assets through Sept. 30. The purchase is expected to bring Achieva's total number of branches to 26 and total assets to $1.6 billion, the statement adds. Financial terms of the deal weren't immediately disclosed.

“We are very proud of the dedicated team of bankers and valued clients that we have built at Preferred Community Bank and we are looking forward to our partnership with Achieva,” says Brenda O'Neil, Chairman and CEO of Preferred, in a statement.

Established in 2007, Preferred Community Bank has three branches: one in Fort Myers, one in Lehigh Acres and one in Cape Coral. All three branches will continue to operate as branches of Achieva after the sale is finalized later this year, the release states. Achieva and Preferred's management teams say they expect shareholders and boards on both sides to approve the deal.

“This consolidation of complimentary services and products along with our entry into new markets makes this combination a strong strategic move for Achieva,” CEO Gary Regoli says in a statement. “Along with all of those positives, our corporate cultures are greatly aligned which is a key ingredient in any successful consolidation. Additionally, we already have a presence in the Lee County community with three branches, and we are excited about becoming an even stronger part of this vibrant community.”

In 2015, Dunedin-based Achieva Credit Union acquired Punta Gorda-based Calusa Bank. Achieva paid $23.2 million for Calusa, or 1.36 price-to-book value, in a deal considered the first whole-bank acquisition of a bank by a credit union nationwide.

Achieva has since developed a consulting service, Achieva Merger Services, to provide its expertise to other credit unions and community banks. And Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Lake Michigan Credit Union, a $5.6-billion institution, acquired Encore Bank of Naples last year.


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