Boston-based Castine Capital Management LLC increased its investment in the financial services sector to $294.4 million as of Dec. 31, 2017, up from $271.0 million a quarter earlier, according to the firm's most recent Form 13F filing.
The hedge fund also revealed four new investments, including an $11.4 million position in Cambridge, Mass.-based Cambridge Bancorp, which became its ninth-largest position as of year-end. Two other initiations, Billings, Mont.-based First Interstate BancSystem Inc. and Carmel, Ind.-based Merchants Bancorp, also became top 20 holdings, while Downingtown, Pa.-based DNB Financial Corp. became Castine's second-smallest holding at $1.2 million.
Castine increased its stake in McKinney, Texas-based Independent Bank Group Inc. by 57.7% during the fourth quarter, pushing its total investment to $13.0 million as of Dec. 31, 2017. On Nov. 28, 2017, Independent Bank Group announced that it would acquire Houston-based Integrity Bancshares Inc. for $161.5 million.
Castine's position in Sterling Bancorp more than tripled in the fourth quarter to $13.3 million, making the company its second-largest holding. The hedge fund sold off much of its investment in Sterling during the third quarter and initiated an $8.6 million position in Astoria Financial Corp., which Sterling had agreed to buy earlier in 2017 in an all-stock deal. The acquisition closed Oct. 2, 2017.
In addition, Castine completely sold out of a $4.9 million stake in Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc. and a $4.6 million stake in Hamburg, N.Y.-based Evans Bancorp Inc.
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Company filings including the Form 13F can be found through the filings archive on a company's briefing book page.