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Fed roundup: Fed allows Mechanics Bank to waive Learner Financial deal filing

S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a weekly roundup of notable actions of the Federal Reserve, as well as applications and reports received from banks, thrifts and credit unions. This feature excludes branch news and news previously covered by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

M&A, change in control, minority investments

The Federal Reserve granted Walnut Creek, Calif.-based Mechanics Bank's waiver of application to acquire in-state peer Learner Financial Corp. and unit Scott Valley Bank.

Mechanics Bank filed the waiver of application alongside related corporate organizational entities — 2011 TCRT, Ford Financial Fund II LP, GJF Financial Management II LLC, and EB Acquisition Co. LLC.

The deal was announced in February.

* * *

The Fed allowed Lake City, Fla.-based First Federal Bancorp MHC and First Federal Bancorp Inc. to waive their application to acquire Beaufort, S.C.-based Coastal Banking Co. Inc.

As part of the deal, Fernandina Beach, Fla.-based CBC National Bank, a unit of Coastal Banking, will merge into First Federal Bank of Florida.

* * *

The Fed granted Knoxville, Tenn.-based SmartFinancial Inc.'s waiver of application to purchase Tullahoma, Tenn.-based Tennessee Bancshares Inc.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta also approved the merger of Tennessee Bancshares' unit, Southern Community Bank, into Pigeon Forge, Tenn.-based SmartBank.

* * *

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis approved MRV Financial Corp.'s application to acquire shares of Grok Bancshares Inc., and indirectly acquire Bowling Green, Mo.-based CBC Bank. MRV Financial applied to acquire at least 21.29% of the voting shares of Grok Bancshares.

As earlier reported, the St. Louis Fed approved Grok Bancshares' application to become a bank holding company by buying Troy, Mo.-based Clifford Bancshares Inc., and thereby indirectly acquire CBC Bank.

* * *

The Federal Reserve Bank Kansas City permitted the proposed change in bank control of Sapulpa, Okla.-based American Bancorp. Inc. and unit American Heritage Bank.

* * *

Community Bancshares of Mississippi Inc. Employee Stock Ownership Plan applied with the Atlanta Fed to purchase an additional 0.54% of Community Bancshares of Mississippi Inc.'s voting shares of common stock.

The acquisition will increase the ESOP's ownership in the Brandon, Miss.-based company to 18.18%.

Community Bank of Mississippi is a unit of the company.

* * *

Minier Financial Inc. Employee Stock Ownership Plan with 401(k) Provisions seeks to obtain the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's approval to acquire an additional 8.1% of Minier Financial Inc., and increase its indirect ownership of unit First Farmers State Bank.

The acquisition will increase the ESOP's ownership in the Illinois-based company to 51%.

* * *

Topeka, Kan.-based HYS Investments LLC seeks to secure approval from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City to acquire additional voting shares up to 27.74% of BOTS Inc.

VisionBank is a unit of BOTS.

* * *

Dubuque, Iowa-based ATBancorp seeks to obtain the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco's approval to acquire approximately 5.6% of the voting stock of San Jose, Calif.-based Heritage Commerce Corp. and indirectly acquire Heritage Bank of Commerce.

As previously reported, San Mateo, Calif.-based United American Bank which is majority-owned by ATBancorp is being acquired by Heritage Commerce.

Holdco formation

Rome, Ga.-based Heritage First Bancshares Inc. secured the approval of the Atlanta Fed to become a bank holding company by acquiring Heritage First Bank.

Fed membership

South County Bank NA, a subsidiary of CalWest Bancorp, secured the San Francisco Fed's approval to retain its membership in the Federal Reserve System on its conversion to a state-chartered bank.

The bank would change its name to Cal West Bank in connection with its charter conversion.