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Robert Trigaux

Ex-BofA's Gene Taylor starts building new bank by taking over South Florida's TIB Financial



GenetaylorAPWake up and good morning. In December we reported how former Florida banker, Panhandle native and ex-Bank of America executive Gene Taylor (AP photo) had assembled a dream team of commercial and investment bankers in a new company called North American Financial Holdings to begin buying up failed or weak banks in Florida and the Southeast in order to build a new financial institution.

On Tuesday, Taylor's group acted on that strategy by investing $175 million into Florida's troubled TIB Financial Corp., the Naples parent company of TIB Bank and Naples Capital Advisors Inc. That sum apparently recapitalizes the bank and satisfies regulator demands for more money to balance against bad debt.

Plus, Taylor's group may follow the initial $175 million investment with another $175 million, infusing enough money into TIB to switch from defensive survival tactics to the offense: growing and making loans again. More on the TIB deal here from the Fort Myers newspaper. And here's the actual news release about the deal.

North American Financial Holdings, not surprisingly based in Charlotte, N.C. (where Bank of America is headquartered) and in Jacksonville, has raised $900 million to buy banks. But Taylor's not the only one on the hunt. Last year, Taylor led an unsuccessful effort to buy First Southern Bank of Boca Raton after Fortress Investment Group, Crestview Partners and Lightyear Capital LLC agreed to inject as much as $150 million each. North American’s lead investor is New York private equity firm Crestview Partners, run by a crew of retired hotshots from Goldman Sachs and Morgan StanleyHere's more from Bloomberg Business Week.

Another Crestview investment in Florida is Oxbow Carbon, a private energy company based in West Palm Beach founded by William I. Koch in 1984.

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 11:00am]


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