LAKELAND, Fla.—The $3.4-billion MIDFLORIDA CU here announced its intent to merge in $730-million Community Bank & Trust of Florida, based in Ocala, Fla.
If the deal is completed, it will be the largest acquisition of a bank by a credit union to date. Previously, the largest bank purchased by a CU was just under $400 million in assets—$5.2-billion Lake Michigan CU’s purchase of Encore Bank in late 2017. CB&T also manages over $300 million in trust assets.
MIDFLORIDA also announced it intends to purchase the Florida assets of First American Bank of Iowa—three offices, two in Naples and one in Cape Coral. The $956-million First American Bank is based out of Fort Dodge, Iowa.
The acquisition of the Florida assets of First American Bank of Iowa is expected to happen in November, while the merger with Community Bank & Trust of Florida is expected to close in late 2019.
MIDFLORIDA Credit Union reported a 10.63% capital ratio at the end of Q1.
More & Larger Deals
The moves by MIDFLORIDA come at a time when not only have the number of CU/bank deals been increasing, but analysts have told CUToday.info they expect the size of the bank buys to continue to as the comfort level of credit unions and regulators increases with the deals, and as more banks consider credit unions as strong bidders.
When the deals are finalized following state and national regulatory approvals and approvals of bank shareholders, MIDFLORIDA will have $4 billion in assets, $3 billion in loans, 1,100 employees, and 63 branches.
“In many communities, credit unions are becoming the primary source for consumer and small business banking,” said Kevin Jones, CEO of MIDFLORIDA. “We hope to strategically acquire additional financial institutions in Florida to expand our affordable consumer and business services. Our goal is for MIDFLORIDA to become the most convenient credit union in Central Florida. Twenty years ago, we changed our charter and vision to serve Central Florida. With our more recent expansion to the east and west coasts, we now feel like we are nearing achievement of that goal and are ready for the next phase. Expanding to the north and south with these strategic partners meshes well with our future growth plans for the credit union.”
‘Just Makes Sense’
MIDFLORIDA will retain all of the Community B&T branches and staff, as well as staff from the First American Bank branch, the CU stated.
“Merging with MIDFLORIDA just makes sense,” said Hugh Dailey, president and CEO of Community Bank & Trust, in a statement. “Becoming part of MIDFLORIDA allows us to maintain the parts of our business that are most important to us—a focus on our customers’ needs, an emphasis on community and the ability to make quick, local decisions. We’ll maintain the same local bank philosophy that has made us so successful for the last 20 years.”
Dailey will join MIDFLORIDA as the market president for North Florida, the CU said.
Community Bank & Trust of Florida reported $7.8 million in income in 2018 and $5.2 million in the previous year, according to FDIC data.
Community Bank &Trust has a deposit base of over $600 million in the mid-Florida markets of Ocala, Gainesville and The Villages.
“The synergistic effect of the combined institutions will allow MIDFLORIDA to generate deposits in certain markets and lend those deposits to members in another market. In the end, we’ll create an even stronger financial institution for the membership,” said Steve Moseley, president of MIDFLORIDA.
Michael Bell, attorney and counselor with Royal-Oak, Mich., based Howard & Howard, who is representing MIDFLORIDA in the Community Bank &Trust deal, said the agreement with CB&T indicates how more banks, especially bigger ones, are considering credit unions when it’s time to sell.
“A deal of this size has been a long time coming. This proves these transactions are real and relevant at higher asset levels. 2019 should be a record year in all regards,” said Bell, who pioneered these transactions and has been involved in a great majority of CU/bank deals.