Fort Pierce, Fla.-based HCBF Holding Co. Inc. had been in periodic M&A talks with potential partners for some time, including CenterState Bank Corp. In fact, HCBF CEO Michael Brown Sr. and his CenterState counterpart, John Corbett, met twice in 2016.
Late that year and in early 2017, two other banking institutions expressed interest in a possible combination. HCBF in January announced it would acquire Jefferson Bankshares Inc., and several investment banking firms submitted analyses about potential partners. In their lists, it was Winter Haven, Fla.-based CenterState with the capacity to pay the highest value of consideration for HCBF.
HCBF and CenterState in April entered into a nondisclosure and confidentiality agreement. CenterState later indicated it might pay $18 to $19 for each HCBF common share. One of the banks that had previously expressed interest orally indicated it might pay approximately $17 per share in an acquisition.
In July, HCBF completed its Jefferson deal.
CenterState's and HCBF's negotiations continued, and the would-be acquirer disclosed in August that it was in talks with another target, Sunshine Bancorp Inc. HCBF performed its own due diligence on Sunshine. On Aug. 12, all three parties executed their respective merger agreements.