(By Balaseshan) First PacTrust Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:BANC), a unitary thrift holding company, said the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco had approved its application to become a bank holding company and to acquire Beach Business Bank.
First PacTrust expects to close the acquisition shortly after the expiration of the 15-day waiting period associated with the Federal Reserve's approval order. As previously announced, Beach's shareholders approved the acquisition on December 27, 2011.
First PacTrust expects to maintain strong capital ratios after the acquisition, and the transaction is expected to be accretive to First PacTrust's earnings in the first year, excluding one-time merger costs, and accretive to tangible book value within one year of closing.
The acquisition of Beach is expected to strengthen First PacTrust's presence in the commercial banking market and expand its footprint in markets such as Manhattan Beach, Long Beach and Costa Mesa, California.
Upon completion of the transaction, First PacTrust expects to maintain about $1.45 billion in total assets with 18 branches located throughout Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego and Riverside counties.
Chief Executive Greg Mitchell said with this approval, First PacTrust would become the first savings-and-loan holding company since the passage of the Dodd-Frank legislation to successfully convert to a bank holding company.
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is serving as counsel to First PacTrust for this transaction and the related regulatory applications, and Wunderlich Securities, Inc. is acting as financial adviser.
BANC is trading up 0.44% at $11.30 on Friday. The stock has been trading between $10 and $16.73 for the past 52 weeks.