Magazine article American Banker

Culverhouse's Possible Tender Offer Sparks Interest of Florida Bankers

Magazine article American Banker

Culverhouse's Possible Tender Offer Sparks Interest of Florida Bankers

Article excerpt

Culverhouse's Possible Tender Offer Sparks Interest of Florida Bankers

Speculation is growing that Hugh Culverhouse will soon make a tender offer for control of Florida Commercial Banks Inc. of Miami. And at least two Florida bank holding companies are already being mentioned as eventual acquirers if Mr. Culverhouse does get control.

Leading the way are Sun Banks Inc. and Florida National Banks of Florida Inc. Sun Banks, which is based in Orlando, bid $27 a share for the $773 million-asset bank in February. Florida Commercial's board of directors rejected the offer.

Sun Banks' offer was publicly supported by Mr. Culverhouse, who then controlled 20% of the bank's stock. He since has raised that stake to 30%.

Joel R. Wells Jr., chief executive officer at Sun Banks, admits his bank would consider making another bid if Mr. Culverhouse is successful.

"We're, not considering making an offer right now, but this is not to say we would not take it up at a later date,' Mr. Wells said. "If there's a change of control or Mr. Culverhouse carries out the tender offer, we'd certainly be willing to talk about an acquisition.'

Mr. Culverhouse, a wealthy attorney and real estate investor, has already filed a 13-D with the Securities and Exchange Commission indicating that he is seeking board representation and weighing the possibility of a tender offer. The filing showed that he has already paid a $150,000 fee to secure a $32 million credit line. The credit line can be used only for a tender offer. …

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