JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—VyStar Credit Union announced it plans to acquire $280-million Citizens State Bank, a Florida state-chartered bank headquartered in Perry.
CSB has four locations: two branches in Gainesville, and branches in Perry and Steinhatchee, Fla.
After the transaction is finalized, VyStar will maintain all four CSB branch offices and all CSB employees. The acquisition will bring VyStar’s total number of branches to 69, and total assets to nearly $8.7 billion, serving more than 650,000 members. The transaction is expected to close midyear, and awaits shareholder and state and federal regulatory approval, the CU stated.
The bank made $2.5 million in net income in 2017 and $2.7 million through September this year, according to FDIC data.
In November, VyStar received approval from the Florida Office of Financial Regulation to significantly expand its field of membership by 27 counties—more than doubling the original 22 counties—to include all 49 counties of Central to North Florida. This expansion included Taylor County, where CSB’s Perry and Steinhatchee offices are located. VyStar currently serves the Gainesville community with two branch locations with plans to open additional offices in Alachua and Ocala by mid-year, the CU said.
“The CSB acquisition and our recent field of membership expansions are significant milestones in our vision to bring credit union services to more people,” said VyStar President/CEO, Brian Wolfburg. “VyStar’s growth over the past 65 years has been organic, and that has served us well. Now, our recent expansions are taking VyStar into new markets, making it necessary to consider mergers/acquisitions to more efficiently serve these new markets.”
“We are proud of CSB’s 61 years of quality service, and we are happy to have found a financially strong partner such as VyStar, with a similar history and service philosophy, that can help strengthen our offerings for our customers and bring our employees to the next level,” said Gil Levy, CSB president/CEO. “This exciting combination will continue to support and expand our highly personalized service and commercial lending focus.”
“Florida and the Southeast are very active spots for these transactions. This is the first CU/bank buy announced 2019 and more will be coming soon. VyStar is an impressive organization that has embraced growth in all aspects,” said Michael Bell, attorney and counselor at Royal Oak, Mich.-based Howard & Howard, who is representing VyStar. Bell has been part of 25 CU/bank deals, including three mergers of a bank into a credit union.