Florida's Admiralty Bancorp has a deal that would give it first crack at loans for sale by one of the state's major nonbank lenders.

The deal is to give Palm Beach Gardens-based Admiralty first refusal on Small Business Administration-backed loans bundled by Nova Financial Services. Nova, based in Lake Mary, Fla., is the state's largest SBA loan packager, making about $25 million of loans per year.

Terms of the deal ban Nova from selling its SBA loan packages to another company unless $40 million-asset Admiralty passes on them. Managers at Admiralty, which went public in September, have said they hope to reach $1 billion of assets by 2005.

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