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Dade City-based Florida Traditions Bank to be sold

A Dade City-based bank that opened because investors said they were tired of having to deal with out-of-state bankers over the phone is being sold to an out-of-state bank in a $43 million deal.

Florida Traditions Bank and Home BancShares, Inc., parent company of Arkansas-based Centennial Bank, announced last week they have entered into a nonbinding letter of intent for Centennial's company to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Traditions, which will be merged into Centennial. Traditions' shareholders will receive approximately $43 million of Home common stock, according to a news release. Although the parties have entered into a letter of intent, there is no guarantee the parties will enter into a definitive agreement.

The acquisition is expected to close late in the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter of 2014 and is subject to execution of a definitive agreement, shareholder approval, regulatory approvals and other customary conditions.

"Traditions Bank is excited to join the Centennial Bank family," said Bud Stalnaker, CEO of Traditions. "Our footprint along the I-4 corridor fits nicely with what Centennial has built over the past several years. Centennial is an extremely well run institution and we are looking forward to helping them expand their presence in Central Florida."

Home's CEO Randy Sims said the deal gives Centennial customers more options.

"We are very pleased to have an opportunity to expand our central Florida footprint," Sims said.

Florida Traditions Bank was born in 2007 when a group of prominent east Pasco residents said they wanted a local financial institution. The group included state Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, School Board member Allen Altman, attorneys Charles Waller and Leonard Johnson; citrus grove owner Ronald Oakley; auto dealer Randy Phillips; Dade City landowner Buddy Rowland; and Zephyrhills builder Kevin Ryman.

Traditions currently operates eight locations in central Florida, including its main office in Dade City. As of March 31, Traditions had approximately $312 million in total assets, $249 million in loans and $279 million in deposits.

Centennial already has two Pasco branches, one in Land O'Lakes and the other in Wesley Chapel.

Dade City-based Florida Traditions Bank to be sold 04/22/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 5:40pm]
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