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Capital City Bank, AmericasBank & BancWest making acquisitions

October 20, 2004


Mortgage industry consolidation continues with plenty of mortgage-related regional mergers in the works.

One recently completed deal was Capital City Bank Group Inc.'s merger with Farmers and Merchants Bank of Dublin, Ga.

In May, Tallahassee, Fla.-based Capital City agreed to acquire Farmers and Merchants in a cash-and-stock deal valued at the time at approximately $66.7 million.

The completion of this merger expands Capital City's footprint in Georgia to 13 offices, according to its announcement.

In Florida, Georgia and Alabama, Capital City has 18 mortgage lending office locations, according to its Web site.

In Maryland, AmericasBank announced its acquisition of uvm Mortgage Marketing Inc., a mortgage lender that, like the buyer, is based in Towson. AmericasBank said it will purchase certain assets and assume certain liabilities for an undisclosed amount of cash and stock of its parent company AmericasBank Corp.

The merger "should more than triple the mortgage banking capacity of AmericasBank," the acquiring company's president and chief executive Mark H. Anders said in the announcement. AmericasBank reported it recently expanded its mortgage lending products to include the acquisition, construction and renovation of residential properties.

Mortgage Marketing has reportedly operated as a mortgage broker since 1995 and last year originated nearly $60 million in mortgage loans.

The acquired mortgage lender will operate as a division of AmericasBank and serve the greater Baltimore area, according to an announcement.

Mortgage Marketing's president, Jon Zemarel, and other staff reportedly join AmericasBank as part of the transaction.

In North Dakota, Community First Bankshares Inc. announced that the Federal Reserve System has approved BankWest Corp. to acquire it. Honolulu, Hawaii-headquartered BancWest will acquire Community in a transaction reportedly valued at $1.2 billion that is expected to close at the end of this quarter.

Community says it provides mortgage products through more than 130 branches.

With the acquisition, BancWest, a bank holding company whose principal subsidiaries are Bank of the West and First Hawaiian Bank, will have $44 billion in assets and operate about 500 branches, according to its Web site.

Meanwhile, Mississippi-headquartered BancorpSouth Inc. announced it signed definitive merger agreements with Premier Bancorp Inc. and Business Holding Corp. Financial terms were not disclosed. The mergers are expected to complete by the first quarter 2005.

BancorpSouth, which operates in 247 banking and mortgage locations, said the acquisition of Premier Bancorp will expand its footprint in the Nashville, Tenn., area, while Business Holding will allow it to enter the Baton Rouge, La., market.

Texas Regional Bancshares Inc. also has two transactions pending execution of which one will expand its mortgage presence in southern Texas.

The McAllen-based holding company of Texas State Bank announced it expects to close this quarter the deal for its acquisition of Valley Mortgage Company Inc. The agreement calls for cash and stock of $13.6 billion.

Valley Mortgage, locally owned and also headquartered in McAllen, has offices in Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Del Rio, Harlingen, Laredo, San Antonio and Sugar Land.

The other transaction involves the acquisition of Mercantile Bank & Trust. Texas Regional said the definitive merger agreement calls for total cash consideration of $35.6 million to paid in exchange for all of Mercantile's outstanding shares. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter next year.

Coco Salazar is an assistant editor and staff writer for MortgageDaily.com.

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