Magazine article American Banker

Lead Florida Commercial Holder Backs Sun Bid

Magazine article American Banker

Lead Florida Commercial Holder Backs Sun Bid

Article excerpt

MIAMI -- The principal stockholder in Florida Commercial Banks Inc. has declared his support for a proposal by Sun Banks Inc., Orlando, to purchase the company. But he said that if the deal does not go through, he will seek control of the company himself.

The shareholder is Hugh F. Culverhouse Sr., a Tampa attorney, businessman, and owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League.

Mr. Culverhouse, personally and through an insurance company he owns, controls 19.8% of Florida Commercial's 3.2 million shares. That is more than twice as much as any other shareholder controls, but it is not enough to ensure acceptance of Sun's offer.

Mr. Culverhouse said in an interview that if the board of Florida Commerical rejects the overture, "I guess I'll call a shareholders' meeting, and we'll let them vote on it." Sun said Tuesday, when it announced the offer, that the deal was conditioned on approval by Florida Commercial's board as well as its shareholders and regulatory agencies.

The board is expected to consider the offer after it receives an evaluation from Florida Commercial's investment banker, Dean Witter Reynolds Inc. in New York.

Mr. Culverhouse said that if the Sun proposal is rejected, he plans to move for control himself. He said that a group that includes himself, his insurance company, and his son, Miami attorney Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr., asked the Securities and Exchange Commission shortly before the end of 1983 for permission to acquire up to 51% of Florida Commercial's stock.

The senior Mr. Culverhouse said he owns 570,958 shares, and Lawyers Professional Liability & Insurance Co., of which he is the sole owner, has 57,712 shares. With the 21,000 shares held by his son, the group has 649,670 shares, or 20.4% of the total outstanding.

Mr. Culverhouse Sr. said there is one month left in the waiting period for the Federal Reserve Board to approve the stock acquisition. …

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