CenterState looks to South FL for latest acquisition

Tampa Bay Business Journal

CenterState Banks Inc. will continue expanding into the south Florida market, with the planned purchase of Community Bank of South Florida Inc.

The cash-and-stock deal is valued at $66.6 million, a press release said.

Community Bank (OTC Pink: CBKS), the parent company of Community Bank of Florida, is the market share leader in south Miami-Dade County, John Corbett, president and CEO of CenterState (NASDAQ: CSFL), said in the release.

Community Bank had $495 million in assets as of June 30. Headquartered in Homestead, it operates 11 banking locations, largely in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro, with two offices in the Key West metro area and two offices in Polk County.

It’s a complementary fit with CenterState, which has a significant presence in the Lakeland-Winter Haven metro area, said Ernie Pinner, executive chairman of CenterState Banks.

It also builds on CenterState’s earlier acquisitions of First Southern Bancorp and Gulfstream Busines Bank, Pinner said. CenterState bought Gulfstream in Stuart in January 2014 and First Southern in Boca Raton five months later.

CenterState, based in Davenport and already one of the largest community banks based in Florida, will have about $4.4 billion in assets, $2.9 billion in loans and $3.6 billion in deposits once the deal closes.

The bank has been very acquisitive, doing 10 deals since 2009, picking up six failed banks and part or all of four healthy banks. In July, Corbett hinted another deal was coming, saying CenterState had talked with 10 potential M&A partners in Florida during the second quarter, and expected to close a deal in six to nine months.

Keefe Bruyette & Woods was financial advisor to CenterState and Smith Mackinnon provided legal counsel. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey served as financial advisor to Community Bank and Hunton & Williams LLP served as legal counsel.

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