United Community enters new Florida markets with Three Shores deal

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United Community Banks in Blairsville, Ga., has agreed to buy Three Shores Bancorp. in Orlando, Fla.

The $12.9 billion-asset United said in a press release Monday that it will pay $180 million in cash and stock for the $1.9 billion-asset parent of Seaside National Bank & Trust. The deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter, priced Three Shores at 110% of its tangible book value.

The deal will provide United with its first branches in central and southern Florida.

Seaside has 14 branches, $1.5 billion in deposits, $1.4 billion in loans and $900 million in assets under advisement.

United Community continues to be an aggressive acquirer under CEO Lynn Harton.

Gideon Haymaker, Three Shores’ founder, president and CEO, will lead the Florida market for United. Haymaker was an executive vice president of private client services at SunTrust Banks before forming Three Shores.

“This transaction is consistent with our commitment to grow our commercial lending business and to deepen our client offerings,” Lynn Harton, United’s chairman and CEO, said in the release.

“Seaside adds the ability to supplement our traditional retail branch and commercial model with a ‘branch-lite’ C&I focus,” Harton added. “Our larger balance sheet and low-cost funding brings capital needed to continue to grow Seaside’s business and relationships.”

The deal is expected to be accretive to United’s earnings per share by about 12 cents to 14 cents in the first full year of operations. The company said any dilution to its tangible book value will be “manageable.”

United plans to cut about 24% of Three Shores’ annual noninterest expense, or roughly $9 million. The company expects to incur $15 million in merger-related expenses.

Morgan Stanley and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough advised United. Piper Sandler and Smith Mackinnon advised Three Shores.

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