The oldest community bank in Jacksonville, Fla., is selling most of its deposits and assets to an out-of-state bank.
CertusBank in Greenville, S.C. said Wednesday that it agreed to buy $96 million of performing loans and $211 million of deposits from First Guaranty Bank Corp. The buyer is also picking up seven branches and First Guaranty's trust business.
In a deal structure that is gaining popularity, First Guaranty will keep one branch, some deposits and all of its nonperforming and criticized assets. The 60-year-old company, with $378 million in assets, was founded by the Fant family, who had operated the bank for three generations. But like many Florida banks, First Guaranty's capital and credit quality were pummeled by the real estate market collapse.
First Guaranty had the second-highest ratio of nonperforming assets to total assets among Florida-based banks, at 27.4% at Sept. 30, according to a report by Saltmarsh, Cleaveland & Gund. The bank was under capitalized with a 3.4% total risk-based capital ratio at Sept. 30. The deal with CertusBank will help recapitalize what remains of the company.
"This is positive for all parties," said Julian Fant Jr., First Guaranty's chairman emeritus, in a press release issued by his bank. "Our customers and employees of the acquired offices will be well cared for with CertusBank. It is one of the stronger banks in the country and its executive team is first rate."
CertusBank is a unit of Blue Ridge Holdings Inc., which was formed last year through a blind pool of investors as a shelf charter to buy failed and distressed banks.