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Seacoast Banking bagged Sabal Palm deal after increasing offer

Seacoast Banking Corp. of Florida CEO Chuck Shaffer told Sabal Palm Bancorp Inc. CEO Neil McCurry Jr. in an April 27 meeting that Seacoast was interested in expanding into Sarasota County, Fla.

McCurry said that at this time, Sabal Palm planned to continue operating independently.

Seacoast later expressed strong interest in Sabal Palm. The Sabal Palm board determined that while the company had not been pursuing merger opportunities, it would be in the best interests of Sabal Palm shareholders to consider a proposal from Seacoast and any other interested institutions.

On June 26, Seacoast submitted a letter of intent providing for an exchange ratio of 0.2201 of a Seacoast common share for each Sabal Palm common share. While no other parties submitted a letter of intent, three financial institutions gave oral guidance of possible interests near Seacoast's offer.

McCurry told Shaffer in a June 28 meeting that he did not believe that the initial Seacoast proposal would be approved by the board and that Sabal Palm would likely choose to remain independent.

Shaffer agreed to provide an updated proposal after discussing potential changes to the offer. Seacoast increased the exchange ratio to 0.2203.

On July 1, the Sabal Palm directors held a meeting with other Sabal Palm Bank board members in attendance and approved the signing of the updated letter of intent with Seacoast, subject to McCurry meeting with Shaffer to discuss employee transition and related issues.

The letter of intent was signed the following day.

The deal process continued, culminating in the signing of the merger agreement Aug. 23.