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Sarasota bank acquired in nearly $54 million deal

Seacoast announced the acquisition of Sabal Palm is expected to wrap up early next year.

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  • | 5:58 p.m. August 23, 2021
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  • Manatee-Sarasota
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SARASOTA — Seacoast Banking Corp. of Florida announced Monday, Aug. 23 that it has acquired Sarasota-based Sabal Palm Bancorp Inc., parent company of Sabal Palm Bank, in a deal valued at $53.9 million.

With the acquisition, Sarasota-based Gulfside Bank,  founded in 2018, is now the only locally-based community bank in the Sarasota-Bradenton market. Sabal Palm was founded in 2006 and while it survived the 2008 recession, by 2012 it was having some capital issues.

Longtime area banker Neil McCurry, who founded People's Community Bank in Sarasota in 1999, joined Sabal Palm in late 2012 as CEO. He quickly helped raise $5.6 million to stabilize the bank. Through March 31, Sabal Palm had $399.7 million in assets, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data. It has three branches in the Sarasota market and some 45 employees. 

File. Neil McCurry Jr will remain with Seacoast following the acquisition of Sabal Palm Bancorp Inc. He will assume the role of Sarasota and Manatee County market president.
File. Neil McCurry Jr will remain with Seacoast following the acquisition of Sabal Palm Bancorp Inc. He will assume the role of 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 says in the statement. “We are delighted to partner with Seacoast, which shares our values and has been serving Florida consumers and businesses for more than 90 years.” 

Following the merger, McCurry will remain with Seacoast, serving as Sarasota and Manatee County market president. Seacoast is the holding company for Seacoast National Bank. 

Under the terms of the Sabal Palm merger agreement, Sabal Palm shareholders are expected to receive 0.2203 shares of Seacoast common stock for each share of Sabal Palm common stock, the release states. Based on Seacoast’s closing price of $31.58 as of August 20,, the Sabal Palm transaction, including the exchange of Sabal Palm options, is valued at approximately $53.9 million or $6.96 per share, the release adds. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.
Seacoast is headquartered in Stuart, on the east coast of Florida, and has been acquiring banks in the region and statewide for several years. It entered the Tampa market in 2017 through the acquisitions of Gulfshore Bank and Northstar Bank and in 2020 it acquired St. Petersburg-based Freedom Bank. 

Seacoast also announced a definitive agreement to acquire Business Bank of Florida Corp. the parent company of Florida Business Bank in Melbourne, according to the statement.

“Sabal Palm Bank and Florida Business Bank are two highly successful, local community banking franchises,” says Charles Shaffer, Seacoast's president and CEO, in the statement. “Both institutions are customer-focused franchises with an outstanding reputation for service excellence and deep customer relationships in their markets.” 

The two transactions will add approximately $600 million in assets to Seacoast, the release states. Once both agreements are completed, the banks will merge with and into Seacoast Bank. 

“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,” Shaffer says. 

Seacoast expects the transaction to be 4% accretive to earnings per share in 2023, the first full year of combined operations.


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