In a move to gain a stronger footprint in the West Palm Beach market, Stuart-based Seacoast Banking Corporation of Florida entered into an agreement to acquire First Bank of the Palm Beaches for $32 million.

If approved, the First Bank acquisition adds $183 million in assets, $166 million in deposits and $150 million in loans to Seacoast’s portfolio. Seacoast Banking Corporation (Nasdaq: SBCF) is the holding company for Seacoast National Bank.

Seacoast COO and CFO Chuck Shaffer said the deal will bolster its growth in Palm Beach County, a key market for the institution. As one of the largest and wealthiest counties in Florida, Shaffer said Palm Beach is a deposit and opportunity-rich market.

“There’s significant migration to the county from residents of northeast states, [the county] has a high median household income, a strong mix of professional services firms,” he said. “Palm Beach County represents a significant percentage of Florida’s population and that keeps growing.”

Shaffer said Seacoast will continue to grow in Palm Beach and Broward counties, which could include additional bank acquisitions.

Seacoast reports the acquisition will increase it’s West Palm Beach-area deposits by 25% to $821 million. The deal follows Seacoast’s $71 million acquisition of Palm Beach Community Bank in 2017 and $16.2 million acquisition of Grand Bankshares in 2015.

When the deal closes, Joseph B. Shearouse, chairman and CEO of First Bank, will join Seacoast as its Palm beach County Market President.

“Seacoast is one of the largest Florida-based community banks in the state, and its bankers understand the Palm Beach market,” he said. “We know our customers will enjoy its impressive array of products and services.”

Under the terms of the agreement, First Bank shareholders will receive 0.2 shares of Seacoast for each First Bank share they own. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.

Seacoast had $6.8 billion in assets and $5.5 billion in deposits as of June 30. The bank has 56 branches in Florida, including seven branches in Palm Beach County and one branch in Broward County.

Sandler O’Neill & Partners L.P. served as financial advisor and Alston & Bird LLP served as legal counsel to Seacoast. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. served as financial advisor and Yoakley & Stewart P.A. as legal advisor to First Bank.

Source: https://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/news/2019/11/20/seacoast-to-acquire-first-bank-of-the-palm-beaches.html