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Seacoast to soar above $15B in assets with spree of 3 bank deals in 5 months

Seacoast Banking Corp. of Florida is blowing past the critical $10 billion asset threshold with its slew of bank deal announcements this year.

The Stuart, Fla.-based company is set to top $15 billion in total assets with its current slate of three pending whole-bank deals, all announced in the past five months. Seacoast reported $10.81 billion in total assets at June 30, just above the critical $10 billion asset threshold that presents growing pains for community banks.

Once above the asset threshold, the Durbin Amendment kicks in to limit interchange fee income. Banks also come under increased regulation from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which drives up expenses. Many banks prefer to leap past the threshold with M&A to offset the costs.

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Seacoast's substantial growth

Seacoast's Aug. 8 announcement that it plans to acquire Coral Gables, Fla.-based Professional Holding Corp. came on the heels of its May announcement that it will acquire Chiefland, Fla.-based Drummond Banking Co. and its March announcement that it plans to scoop up Miami-based Apollo Bancshares Inc.

With the string of deals, the serial acquirer has now announced 15 whole-bank deals since 2014. The Professional deal is Seacoast's largest whole-bank deal yet, with Professional's total assets of $2.66 billion at June 30 totaling more than Apollo and Drummond's combined total assets at deal announcement.

Through its acquisitive nature and organic growth, Seacoast is expected to top $15 billion in total assets following the close of its three pending deals, up from $2.27 billion in total assets in 2013 prior to its string of 15 deals in nine years.

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Seacoast dominates largest bank deals in 2022

U.S. bank deal announcements have slowed in recent months as economic uncertainty lingers, rising interest rates weigh on deal math and pricing challenges persist due to lower stock prices for many buyers. As such, most of the deals announced this year are smaller than those in 2021's blockbuster year of megadeals.

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Seacoast's pending acquisition of Professional, which held a value of $468.0 million at announcement, marked the second-largest U.S. bank deal announcement so far in 2022 based on deal value. Seacoast is responsible for three of the 10 largest bank deals announced this year.

The Toronto-Dominion Bank's announced acquisition of First Horizon Corp. holds the first-place spot with a value of $13.67 billion at announcement, making it the only bank deal announced this year with a value above $500 million at announcement.

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Flourishing in Florida

Seacoast is also dominating the Florida bank M&A market. Of the six U.S. bank deals involving Florida-based targets announced this year, Seacoast was the buyer in three transactions.

"Seacoast maintains its position as the acquirer of choice in Florida," Raymond James analysts wrote in an Aug. 8 note on the deal.

Seacoast is greatly expanding its footprint in its home state with the three pending deals. The company is moving further north into markets like Gainesville and Ocala with the Drummond deal, while both the Apollo and Professional deals will bolster the company's presence in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla., metropolitan statistical area.

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