CBM Florida to Acquire Beleaguered Tampa Bank

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A Florida holding company formed in 2008 to buy troubled banks has struck another deal in the Tampa Bay area after calling off its previous acquisition.

CBM Florida Holding Co. in Lakewood Ranch said Monday that its bank subsidiary, Community Bank & Co., had agreed to acquire Palm Bancorp Inc. in Tampa. Palm Bancorp's banking unit, the $134 million-asset Palm Bank, would be merged into the $729 million-asset Community Bank.

The deal would increase Community Bank's total number of branches in the Tampa Bay region to 20. The financial terms of the deal, expected to close in the first half of 2012, were not disclosed.

Palm Bank has been operating under a consent order with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. since July that requires it to retain qualified management, maintain a Tier 1 capital of at least 8% and review the adequacy of its allowance for loan and lease losses.

At Sept. 30, Palm Bank's Tier 1 risk-based capital totaled 10.71%, but its loans 90 days past due totaled almost 11%, up from 6.8% a year earlier, according to the FDIC.

CBM Florida made its first acquisition in 2009 when it gained a controlling interest in Community Bank of Manatee. Earlier this year it purchased the $452 million-asset First Community Bank of America in Pinellas Park.

CBM Florida also had agreed to buy Old Harbor Bank in Clearwater but backed out of the deal in August citing "circumstances beyond our control." The FDIC closed Old Harbor in October and 1st United Bank in Boca Raton agreed to assume its deposits and almost all of its assets.

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