First Bancshares to acquire Beach Bank parent Beach Bancorp for $117m

First Bancshares, the Mississippi-based holding company for The First Bank, has agreed to acquire Beach Bancorp (BBI), the parent company of Florida-based Beach Bank in an all-stock deal worth around $116.7 million.

The deal is expected to expand the footprint of The First Bank in the Florida panhandle. It will also enable an entry into the Tampa market.

Post-acquisition, Beach Bank will merge into The First Bank.

Beach Bank has seven branches across the Florida panhandle and Tampa markets. As of 31 March 2022, it has deposits of nearly $492 million and loans of $456 million.

M. Ray Cole, Jr. — President and CEO of The First Bancshares said: “We are thrilled to be joining forces with Beach Bank and continuing to grow our presence in Florida. Together, our company will be ranked #1 and #2 in deposit market share in the community bank space in the fast growing MSA’s of Crestview/Ft. Walton/Destin and Pensacola, respectively.

“In addition to strengthening our northwest Florida markets, Beach will add the Tampa metro and central Florida area to our footprint. Both the Florida panhandle and Tampa area offer significant growth opportunities for our bank.”

First Bancshares to acquire Beach Bank parent Beach Bancorp for $117m

First Bancshares to acquire Beach Bank parent Beach Bancorp for $117m

As per the terms of the deal, shareholders of Beach Bancorp are expected to exchange each of their shares for 0.1711 shares of First Bancshares. The deal values each of the shares of Beach Bancorp at $5.63.

Chip Reeves — Beach Bank CEO said: “We are incredibly excited to be joining forces with The First. We share similar cultures that focus on our team members, clients and communities, within a growth and performance mindset.

“The combination greatly accelerates Beach Bank’s strategic priorities of NW FL Community Bank leadership and Tampa/Central Florida expansion. Our team is fully committed to this merger and we cannot wait to get started.”

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals, Beach Bancorp’s shareholders’ approval, and other conditions, is likely to be wrapped up in Q3 or Q4 of this year.

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