Bank of the Ozarks Buys C1 Financial of Florida in $402M Deal

Bank of the Ozarks Buys C1 Financial of Florida in $402M Deal
George Gleason (Jason Burt)

Bank of the Ozarks Inc. of Little Rock said late Monday that it has purchased C1 Financial Inc. of St. Petersburg, Florida, and its wholly owned bank subsidiary, C1 Bank, in all-stock deal worth $402.5 million.

The deal, which has been approved by both companies' boards and is set to close by the second quarter of 2016, will put Bank of the Ozarks in Miami and Orlando for the first time.

C1 operates 32 Florida banking offices on the west coast of Florida and in Miami-Dade and Orange Counties. Most of its offices are located in Florida's top six metropolitan markets.

As of Sept. 30, C1 had about $1.7 billion of total assets, $1.4 billion of loans and $1.3 billion of deposits.

"This acquisition provides us with 32 additional offices in Florida, including entry into the Miami, Orlando and Cape Coral-Ft. Myers markets and significantly expands our existing 10-office Florida presence," George Gleason, chairman and CEO of Bank of the Ozarks, said in a news release. "The addition of these branches in some of Florida’s best high growth, deposit-rich markets is very attractive to us, but of equal value is the skilled and dedicated team at C1 Bank."

The $1.7 billion-asset lender, formerly known as Community Bank of Manatee, operates with a staff of 239. Most of its network of 32 full-service branches stretches along the west coast of Florida from Zephyrhills in the north to Bonita Springs in the south.

In addition to the Tampa, St. Petersburg and Fort Myers on the west coast, C1 opened four locations in the Miami-Dade County market during 2014-15.

C1 recorded a profit of $12.9 million through the first nine months of 2015. The bank is on pace to eclipse its peak year of profitability: $13.1 million in 2012.

C1 endured three consecutive years of losses totaling $19 million during 2008-10. The biggest lick, nearly $15.4 million, came in 2009.

Trevor Burgess, president and CEO of C1 and founder of C1 Bank, will join Bank of the Ozarks as chief innovation officer and president of the company's Florida operations. Bank of the Ozarks also said Burgess "is expected to be nominated at a future annual meeting of shareholders for membership" on its board of directors as part of a group of C-level officers who rotate from year to year on the board.

Bank of the Ozarks expects closing of the transaction to be immediately accretive to its book value per common share and its tangible book value per common share. The deal is expected to be accretive to diluted earnings per common share by 2 cents to 4 cents, including transaction costs, for the first 12 months after the transaction closes and by 7 cents to 10 cents for the second 12 months.

The deal marks Bank of the Ozarks' 15th acquisition since March 2010. Last month, Bank of the Ozarks announced what's believed to be the biggest transaction by an Arkansas bank: an $800 million deal to buy Community & Southern Holdings Inc. of Atlanta.