Home BancShares to buy Stonegate in Fla. for $778M

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Home BancShares in Conway, Ark., has agreed to buy Stonegate Bank for about $778 million to expand further in South Florida.

The $9.8 billion-asset Home BancShares would pay about $700 million in stock and $50 million in cash for the $3.1 billion-asset Stonegate, in Pompano Beach, Fla., the companies said in a news release Monday. Additionally, the holders of outstanding stock options in Stonegate would receive a total of $28.6 million for their canceled options.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter provided it receives the necessary approvals. Either company can terminate the agreement if the volume-weighted average closing price of Home BancShares’ stock is below $21.11 per share for 20 straight days in the period between June 30 and three days before the projected closing date.

The deal is Home BancShares’ second in Florida in less than five months; in November it agreed to buy the $463 million-asset Landmark Bank in Fort Lauderdale. Stonegate has also been an active acquirer; last year it agreed to buy Insignia Bank in Sarasota.

Home’s Centennial Bank unit operates 71 branches in Florida in various metro areas, including Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tallahassee and Tampa. Stonegate has 33 branches in Florida, all in South Florida.

RBC Capital Markets was financial adviser to Home BancShares, and Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard was legal counsel. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods and Hovde Group advised Stonegate, and Squire Patton Boggs was legal counsel.

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