Buyout funds are selling off more of their banking interests, but the private-equity backers of EverBank Financial (EVER) are not itching to exit, its CEO says.

"There is a strong view that this company is in the very early stages of our growth and development," says Robert Clements, the chief executive of the Jacksonville, Fla., company. "They share the view that our growth prospects are very attractive. … They have a long-term focus."

Two banking companies owned by private equity have agreed to be sold, and two others have gone public, since mid-September. These moves have fueled speculation that other banks that private equity bought into during the downturn have investors angling for liquidity.

EverBank's investors include Sageview Capital, which holds an 11% of its outstanding shares, and New Mountain Capital and TPG Capital, which each hold 6.87%, according to Bloomberg data. More than 30% of the outstanding shares of the $15 billion-asset EverBank belongs to hedge funds and private-equity firms, according to Bloomberg. Sageview's investment dates to 2008, when EverBank raised $123 million in a private placement. Private equity prefers to sell within three to five years.

Everbank's growth prospects mean its investors can justify staying put, Clements says. Its shares have risen about 37%, to $13.68 as of mid-day Thursday, since going public at $10 per share in May, he notes. Its $2.4 billion acquisition this week of General Electric's (GE) business property lending business will make EverBank a more diversified and profitable company, he adds. It is to be immediately accretive to profits and adds offices in important growth markets such as Connecticut, Chicago and Southern California, he says.

EverBank had returns on assets of 0.32% in the second quarter.

The company was founded as a savings and loan in 1994 and in recent years has been seeking to diversify into wealth management, business banking and other markets through acquisitions and other means. It bought MetLife's (MET) warehouse financing division earlier this year and in 2010 acquired Tygris Commercial Finance Group.

EverBank may consider other acquisitions but its primary focus is integrating its latest one, Clements says.

WL Ross & Co. this week agreed to sell Homeward Residential Holdings to Ocwen Financial. WL Ross established the company in 2007.

West Coast Bancorp (WBCO), which raised money from three private equity outfits in 2009, agreed to sell for $506 million last month to Columbia Banking System (COLB). Capital Bank Financial (CBF) and National Bank Holdings (NBHC) went public in September. They were both assembled by private-equity investors in 2009 to acquire troubled banks.

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