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$58.1M PacWest offer puts American Perspective in bidding war

By   /   Monday, April 30th, 2012  /   Comments Off on $58.1M PacWest offer puts American Perspective in bidding war

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PacWest Bancorp’s $58.1 million offer to buy American Perspective Bank has trumped an earlier deal for the Central Coast lender.

The April 30 acquisition offer from Los Angeles-based PacWest, parent of Pacific Western Bank, comes three weeks after Umpqua Holdings Corp. of Oregon said it would buy American Perspective for $44.7 million in cash, or $10 per share.

The deal with PacWest, priced at $13 per share, represents a 31.7 percent premium over American Perspective’s April 27 closing share price of $9.87. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of this year, PacWest said, and would rebrand American Perspective as Pacific Western Bank.

According to Pacific Western, San Luis Obispo-based American Perspective will now pay Umpqua a $1.6 million fee to terminate the earlier deal.

Pacific Western is based in Los Angeles and has become a major player in the Tri-Counties with several FDIC-assisted deals in the region during the last few years. It purchased Ventura-based Affinity Bank in 2009 and Solvang-based Los Padres Bank in 2010. Last year, it recruited longtime tri-county banker Lynda Nahra from Goleta-based Community Western Bank to run its Central Coast operation.

Primarily a commercial bank, Pacific Western said it has $5.4 billion in assets and 76 branches in California, including 12 in the Tri-Counties.

American Perspective Bank, formerly called American Principle Bank, was founded in 2007. It is one of the mid-sized banks in the region, ranking at No. 6 on the list of banks based in the Tri-Counties with $255.3 million in assets as of the third quarter of 2011. It has three branches, in San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria and Paso Robles. Publicly traded on the over-the-counter bulletin board, American Perspective has a market capitalization of about $43 million, reflecting the prior offer price from Umpqua.

“American Perspective is a great geographic and strategic fit in our Central Coast region.  The addition of American Perspective’s San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria offices strengthens our presence in this important market, and its Paso Robles loan production office provides opportunity for expansion and additional organic growth in that region,” Matt Wagner, CEO of PacWest Bancorp and chairman and CEO of Pacific Western Bank, said in a statement.

PacWest said that the board of directors of both companies had approved the deal. The acquisition still requires the approval of American Perspective’s shareholders and bank regulators.
“Our purchase price represents a multiple of 1.32 times American Perspective Bank’s tangible book value at March 31, 2012.  It is expected to be nicely accretive to our net earnings in 2013 and beyond.  American Perspective Bank’s solid credit quality and similar strategic focus will complement our franchise value,” PacWest CFO Vic Santoro said in a release.

American Perspective President, CEO and Chief Credit Officer Mark Crawford said “Pacific Western Bank is a strong, stable California bank with a meaningful presence in the Central Coast, including San Luis Obispo County.”

The share price of both banks was unchanged on April 30. The deal was announced after the market closed.

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