Seacoast in Fla. revisits familiar territory with First Bank purchase

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Seacoast Banking Corp. of Florida in Stuart has agreed to buy First Bank of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, Fla.

The $6.9 billion-asset Seacoast said in a press release Tuesday that it will pay $32.9 million in stock for the $183 million-asset First Bank. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter.

First Bank, formed in 2006, has two branches, $172 million in deposits and $150 million in loans.

The deal will increase Seacoast’s deposits in Palm Beach County by 25%, to $821 million. Seacoast entered the market in 2003, then expanded by buying Grand Bankshares and Palm Beach Community Bank.

“This acquisition brings Seacoast a highly complementary banking institution and strengthens our position in Palm Beach County,” Dennis Hudson III, Seacoast’s chairman and CEO, said in the release. “First Bank builds upon our two previous Palm Beach County acquisitions and subsequent organic growth in Florida’s largest" market.

Joseph Shearouse III, First Bank’s chairman and CEO, will become Seacoast’s Palm Beach County market president.

Seacoast said it expects the acquisition to be more than 1.3% accretive to its 2020 earnings per share, excluding one-time transaction costs. It should take two years for Seacoast to earn back any dilution to its tangible book value.

Seacoast said it plans to cut about half of First Bank's annual noninterest expenses.

Sandler O’Neill and Alston & Bird advised Seacoast. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods and Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart advised First Bank.

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