Seacoast expanding in western Florida with Fourth Street acquisition

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Seacoast Banking Corp. of Florida in Stuart has agreed to buy Fourth Street Banking Co. in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The $7.1 billion-asset company said in a press release Thursday that it will pay $63.6 million in stock for the parent of the $306 million-asset Freedom Bank. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

Freedom Bank has two branches, $276 million in loans and $249 million in deposits. Seacoast, which entered the Tampa Bay market in 2017 with two acquisitions, said it will have $679 million in deposits in the area when the deal closes.

“Seacoast has found a great opportunity to partner with Freedom Bank, strengthening our position in the attractive Tampa-St. Petersburg market,” Dennis Hudson III, Seacoast's chairman and CEO, said in the release. “This is an exceptional addition to our two previous acquisitions in the state’s second-largest MSA.”

Cathy Swanson, Freedom Bank’s CEO, will join Seacoast as its market president for Pinellas County.

Seacoast said it expects the acquisition to be more than 1.5% accretive to its 2020 earnings per share, excluding merger-related costs. It should take less than two years for Seacoast to earn back any expected dilution to its tangible book value.

Piper Sandler and Alston & Bird advised Seacoast. Hovde Group and Smith Mackinnon advised Fourth Street.

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