Seacoast Commerce Bank, a leading small business lender, has a new owner

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San Diego’s Seacoast Commerce Bank, which specializes in government-backed small business loans, is acquired by parent company Enterprise Bank & Trust in an all-stock transaction valued at $ 156 million.

The move expands the presence of Missouri-based Enterprise Bank & Trust in Southern California and will create a combined financial institution with $ 9.7 billion in assets.

Seacoast Commerce shareholders are due to approve the transaction, which was announced Thursday after the market closed. It is one of the few acquisitions of large community banks at the local level since the Great Recession of 2008-2009, which significantly reduced the number of small banks headquartered in San Diego.

Under the agreement, Seacoast shareholders will receive $ 15.80 per share, based on the closing price of Enterprise Financial Services Corp. shares. Wednesday before the announcement of the agreement.

That’s a premium over the $ 12.05 price of Seacoast shares at the end of trading on Wednesday.

“We believe the time has come to join forces with Enterprise, as there is a substantial opportunity for each of us to build on each other’s strengths and move more effectively towards our shared long-term vision,” Seacoast chief executive Richard Sanborn said in a letter to employees.

Seacoast Commerce, with $ 1.3 billion in assets, has roots in San Diego County stretching back over a dozen years. It operates five branches in Encinitas, Rancho Bernardo, National City, San Juan Capistrano and Las Vegas. It also has 20 loan and deposit centers across the country.

The bank has focused on business loans under US Small Business Administration programs. At the end of July, Seacoast was the ninth largest SBA lender in the country. More than half of its $ 1.1 billion in loans are fully guaranteed by the US government.

“Rick and his team have built a hugely successful SBA platform that will complement our commercial and specialty lending verticals,” said Jim Lally, president and CEO of parent company Enterprise Bank & Trust, in a comment. communicated.

Enterprise will continue Seacoast’s SBA program. It will be led by current Seacoast executives David Bartram and Rick Visser. Sanborn will join the Board of Directors of Enterprise Financial Service Corp. – the bank’s parent company. In a conference call with Wall Street analysts, Enterprise Bank executives said they plan to expand their services into the San Diego market and do not plan to close any branches.

Enterprise has $ 8.4 billion in assets and operates 34 branches in St. Louis, Kansas City, Phoenix and northern New Mexico. It offers a wide variety of standard and specialty lending services provided with a major bank, such as aircraft financing and specialist legal services.

Upon closing of the transaction, Seacoast Commerce shareholders will exchange each share for 0.5061 shares of Enterprise Financial Service Corp.

Shares of Enterprise ended Friday down 3% to $ 29.64 on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

Seacoast stock jumped 17% to $ 14.90 on the over-the-counter stock market.

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