MidFlorida Credit Union, one of the state's healthiest big credit unions, has agreed to acquire the troubled Bay Gulf Federal Credit Union in the latest in a series of large credit union mergers shaking up the market in the Sunshine State.
The deal, announced Tuesday, comes a year after MidFlorida's agreement to acquire the troubled Sarasota Coastal Federal Credit Union and its network of Gulf Coast branches fell apart. (Sarasota Coastal later was acquired by Achieva Credit Union.)
The Bay Gulf merger will give the $1.1 billion-asset credit union seven locations in Sarasota and Hillsborough counties on Florida's Gulf Coast.
William DeMare, Bay Gulf's president, predicted a return to profitability for Bay Gulf's operations, even as the credit union will be merged out of existence. DeMare, 67, plans to retire after the merger is completed.
"We expect to report a net for the second quarter," he said in an interview.
Yet he lamented the poor condition of the Gulf Coast's economy, which has been hurt by one of the worst real estate market collapses in the country.
"It's a deep hole and the economy in our area is not rebounding the same as in other parts of the country," he said.
The merger is the latest combination involving big credit unions in Florida, which in addition to the Sarasota Coastal deal include Space Coast Credit Union's acquisition of Eastern Financial Florida Credit Union; and Dade County Federal Credit Union's acquisition of Keys Federal Credit Union.