Daily News: February 27, 2018

First Choice to Acquire Pacific Commerce

First Choice Bancorp, the holding company of California-based First Choice Bank, agreed to acquire Pacific Commerce Bancorp and its subsidiary Pacific Commerce Bank in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $110.4 million.

Under the agreement, Pacific Commerce common shareholders will be entitled to receive a fixed ratio of 0.46531 shares of First Choice common stock, subject to certain adjustments. First Choice expects the transaction to be immediately accretive to earnings per share.

Existing First Choice shareholders will own approximately 63.5% of the outstanding shares of the combined company and Pacific Commerce shareholders are expected to own approximately 36.5%.

The transaction is expected to close early in Q3/18, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory, shareholder and board approvals.

“We are excited about joining forces with a powerful bank like Pacific Commerce,” said Robert M. Franko, First Choice president and CEO. “Expanding our presence in Los Angeles and San Diego Counties to the Mexican border fits in with our long term strategic plan. We have been impressed by Pacific Commerce’s strong commitment to its communities and we look forward to growing our bank together.”

Hovde Group delivered a fairness opinion and acted as financial advisor to First Choice in the transaction, while Loren P. Hansen served as its legal counsel. Piper Jaffray delivered a fairness opinion and acted as financial advisor to Pacific Commerce and Stuart | Moore | Staub served as its legal counsel.