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Valley National Bancorp to acquire Florida chain in $312 million deal

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Gerald Lipkin, president of Valley National Bank.
Gerald Lipkin, president of Valley National Bank. - (AARON HOUSTON)

Wayne-based Valley National Bancorp will acquire a Florida-based bank chain in a $312 million deal announced Thursday, marking the company's first expansion beyond its traditional New Jersey and New York footprint.

The deal with 1st United Bancorp Inc., based in Boca Raton, is expected to close early in the fourth quarter and result in a company with 225 branches in New Jersey, New York and southeast and central Florida, according to a news release. The merger agreement calls for 1st United shareholders to receive 0.89 of each share of Valley common stock for each 1st United share they own, subject to changes in Valley’s stock price.

The bank said the move will “provide an entree for Valley into Florida’s high growth market, beyond its traditional Northeastern regional footprint,” according to a news release. 1st United currently has a 21-branch network in southeast Florida, the Treasure Coast and the Tampa and Orlando regions with about $1.7 billion in assets between the publicly held company and its 1st United Bank subsidiary, according to the news release.

“Valley has always employed a highly focused geographic growth strategy based on creating long-term shareholder value, however, we ultimately welcomed this tremendous opportunity to expand into one of the premier growth markets of the United States,” Gerald H. Lipkin, Valley’s chairman, president and CEO, said in a prepared statement.

He added: “With this merger, we add a well-positioned institution located in regions of Florida with very strong demographics that should provide us the necessary springboard for the initial introduction of the Valley brand, as well as a strong foundation for future growth opportunities.”

The bank said its decision was driven in part by its residential mortgage and automobile lending platforms, past real estate and consumer lending experience in the Florida markets and the state’s attractive demographics.

Valley and 1st United said the combined entity will include the following:

  • More than $18 billion in assets;
  • $12.9 billion in loans;
  • $12.7 billion in deposits;
  • 225 branches covering northern and central New Jersey, New York City, Long Island and southeast and central Florida.

The deal marks Valley’s sixth bank and branch network acquisition over the past decade.

The $312 million transaction is based on Valley’s closing stock price on Monday, the news release said. The deal also includes cash considerations that will be paid to 1st United stock option holders.

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Joshua Burd

Joshua Burd

Josh Burd covers real estate, economic development and sports and entertainment. Before joining NJBIZ in 2011, he spent four years as a metro reporter in Central Jersey. His email is joshb@njbiz.com and he is @JoshBurdNJ on Twitter.

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