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Coronavirus pandemic axes Suncoast Credit Union’s Apollo Bank acquisition

The deal would have been the largest acquisition by a credit union since 2012.

What would have been the largest acquisition by a credit union in nearly 10 years has been called off.

Suncoast Credit Union announced plans to acquire Miami-based Apollo Bank last December for an undisclosed amount, but the deal fell through when the pandemic hit.

“We just felt like there was too much uncertainty,” CEO Kevin Johnson said. “We mutually agreed that this wasn’t the right time to move forward.”

There is currently no guarantee to pursue another deal in the future. The sale would have closed this year.

In a statement, Apollo said the split was mutual and caused by “indefinite delays” during the process to get approval from regulators because of the pandemic.

“These unforeseen delays made proceeding with the merger untenable,” Eddy Arriola, CEO of Apollo, said. "While disappointed by this development, both Suncoast and Apollo are keeping focused on providing trusted guidance and support to our clients and communities during this critical time.”

Related: Suncoast Credit Union acquires Miami bank

At the time, Apollo had roughly $746 million in assets and 100 employees. It has five branches in Miami. Suncoast is the state’s largest credit union, with the eighth-largest membership in the country. It had 69 branches in 21 Florida counties at the end of 2019.

Suncoast was attracted to the bank because of the communities it served.

“The area is home to the fastest-growing market for small businesses and an established and growing Hispanic community,” Suncoast said in a release at the time.

About 30 credit unions acquired independent banks between 2012 and June 2019, according to trade group Credit Union National Association. Most independent bank sales during that period — 2,003 sales — were to other banks.

Editor’s note: Suncoast Credit Union did not drop its planned purchase of Miami-based Apollo Bank because the bank’s value has fallen during the pandemic. The credit union has not sought a new valuation for the bank. This story has been updated since its initial publication to correct that point.

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