CBC Bancorp, the holding company for Commercial Bank of California (CBC), has entered into a definitive acquisition agreement with Bay Community Bancorp, the holding company for Community Bank of the Bay (CBB). Under the terms of the agreement, CBC Bancorp will acquire Bay Community Bancorp in an all-cash transaction valued at $14.00 per common share. This acquisition merges institutions from two of California’s largest banking markets, resulting in approximately $3.5 billion in combined assets.

The acquisition of Bay Community Bancorp will transition Community Bank of the Bay to a privately held bank owned by a limited number of shareholders, and its shares will no longer be publicly traded.

“The alignment of our two institutions will create a unique banking franchise that better serves our employees and clients,” Ash Patel, chairman of the board, CEO and president of Commercial Bank of California, said. “Once we combine our two reputable banking platforms, it will create a transformative business bank with expanded product offerings driven by the purpose to serve our communities across California.”

The acquisition of Bay Community Bancorp will transition Community Bank of the Bay to a privately held bank owned by a limited number of shareholders, and its shares will no longer be publicly traded. As a privately held bank, CBB will remain a division of Commercial Bank of California for the long term. This will empower both banks to grow in execution of CBC’s core values of gratitude, respect, integrity, trust, courage, compassion and humility.

“This transaction brings together two complementary institutions with long standing ties to their communities, similar cultures and a relationship-based approach to banking,” William Keller, CEO of Community Bank of the Bay, said. “One of the many benefits of this combination is that the combined bank’s greater scale will allow for increased investments in products and services that will directly benefit our clients and enhance productivity. This is the right move for the future of both institutions and we’re excited to work together.”

Community Bank of the Bay will maintain its name recognition and San Francisco Bay Area branch operations while officially becoming a division of Commercial Bank of California. The acquisition also capitalizes on CBC’s successful business banking experience and pairs it with the unmatched community banking experience of CBB.

“Both of our banks are fully aligned regarding the important role that we can play to help our communities thrive,” Keller said. “We’re excited to collaborate with the CBC team and collectively make an even bigger impact throughout California.”

“Our goal is to maintain the legacies of both banks and increase our collective impact,” Mukhtar Ali, president and chief credit officer of Community Bank of the Bay, said. “It’s important to everyone that management remains local to each of the branches. This approach has served both banks’ clients, team members and communities very well, and we do not want to disrupt that.”

Community Bank of the Bay will form a new advisory board to maintain its community engagement while bank operations will be overseen by the existing Commercial Bank of California board of directors. Keller will serve as chairman and Ali will serve as president of the new CBB advisory board. Together, they will work to build out an advisory board of local leaders who align with the bank’s mission.

The transaction is expected to close in late 2024 or early 2025 upon receipt of required regulatory approvals, shareholder approvals from CBC Bancorp and Bay Community Bancorp and the satisfaction of closing conditions.

Raymond James & Associates served as financial advisor to CBC Bancorp and Husch Blackwell acted as its legal advisor in the transaction. Janney Montgomery Scott served as financial advisor to Bay Community Bancorp and Spierer, Woodward, Corbalis & Goldberg acted as its legal advisor in the transaction.

“We are excited to get started with the CBB team,” Patel said. “Together, we will build one of the best banking institutions in California with a focus on relationships, purpose, innovation and impact. We’re officially on our purposeful journey to building a $5 billion bank!”