CU Bancorp (CUNB) in Encino, Calif., has agreed to buy 1st Enterprise Bank (FENB) in Los Angeles.

The $1.4 billion-asset CU Bancorp said in a press release Tuesday that it will pay $24.47 a share for the $776 million-asset 1st Enterprise. The deal could have a value of $94 million, based on the per-share pricing and 1st Enterprise's shares outstanding.

"We are excited about combining these two unparalleled commercial banking franchises in the Southern California market," David Rainer, CU Bancorp's chairman, president and chief executive, said in the release. "Both companies have developed strong commercial banking platforms and production capabilities, low-cost deposit bases and robust credit cultures. Led by a management team with senior managers from both banks in leading roles, the combined bank will continue to focus on serving the needs of small- and middle-market businesses."

Brian Horton, president of 1st Enterprise, will have the same title at CU Bancorp, and Rainer will remain CEO. John Black, 1st Enterprise's CEO, will become executive consultant.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter. The company is expected to have $2.2 billion in assets and 11 branches in Southern California.

Sandler O'Neill and Horgan, Rosen, Beckham & Coren advised CU Bancorp. D.A. Davidson and King, Holmes, Paterno & Berliner advised 1st Enterprise.

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