Seacoast Banking Acquires Fourth Street, Expands in Florida

Seacoast Banking Corporation of Florida SBCF recently closed the acquisition of Florida-based Fourth Street Banking Company for $41.7 million. The all-stock deal, announced this January, will further expand the company’s reach in the fast-growing Florida markets.

Further, Fourth Street’s wholly-owned banking subsidiary — Freedom Bank — has been merged with Seacoast National Bank as part of the transaction.

Per the term the deal, shareholders of Fourth Street will receive 0.1275 shares of Seacoast Banking for each share of Fourth Street held immediately before the merger. As of Jun 30, 2020, the St. Petersburg, FL-headquartered Freedom Bank had deposits and loans of about $359 million and $312 million, respectively.

With the deal’s completion, customers of Freedom Bank have access to Seacoast Banking’s wide array of digital banking products, and fee-free access to its ATMs and more than 1,250 Publix ATMs.

Seacoast Banking has been active in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater MSA, with the acquisitions of GulfShore Bank and NorthStar Bank in 2017, as well as the buyout of the West Palm Beach, FL-based First Bank of the Palm Beaches for $21.9 million in January 2020.

Seacoast Banking’s inorganic growth efforts will likely keep supporting financials amid lower interest rates and the economic slowdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Over the past year, shares of Seacoast Banking have depreciated 17.3% compared with the 22.5% decline of the industry it belongs to.

Currently, Seacoast Banking carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

So far this year, consolidations in the financial sector have been limited in number due to the virus outbreak and resultant economic slowdown. A few deals have even been terminated mutually due to uncertainties related to the pandemic. In June, Ally Financial Inc. ALLY announced that the acquisition of CardWorks has been called off. Likewise, in May, Texas Capital Bancshares, Inc. TCBI and Independent Bank Group, Inc. IBTX mutually terminated the merger agreement announced in December 2019.

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