Johnny Allison on Centennial Bank's Acquisition March Through Florida

by George Waldon  on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012 12:00 am  

Allison: “That was another in-market merger for us. We picked up a few talented people. The staff of 200 people was pared to 80. You can see the savings. We closed three locations, and we’ll probably close three or four more.

“From day one, it was a very accretive transaction and very profitable for us, and the market is growing. In the future, it will allow us to move more into Mobile proper to the west and into Pensacola to the east.”

Aug. 14, 2012: Offers $1.4 million cash for Premier Bank of Tallahassee, Fla., with six branches and $282.4 million in total assets, $179.5 million in loans and $253.0 million in deposits. The proposed deal with the bank’s parent company, Premier Bank Holding Co., is subject to the approval of U.S. Bankruptcy Court officials and regulators.

Allison: “The holding company for Premier Bank owed the federal government TARP money and owed on trust-preferred stock, about $35 million in all. There is opposition [to our bid] from trust-preferred stockholders, but if the regulators shut the bank down, they won’t get anything.

“Financially, if this doesn’t work, this bank will get taken down by the regulators next year.

“Will we win it? We hope so. I don’t think anyone else will bid.

“We didn’t do this lightly. We did due diligence two years ago, one year ago and even two months ago. There is a trust factor between us and their management.

“We don’t move overnight on deals. That’s not the only one we’ve spent two years on out there.”



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