April 27, 2021 at 01:53AM

Enterprise Financial Services (EFSC), the holding company of Enterprise Bank & Trust (EB&T), and First Choice Bancorp (FCBP), the holding company of First Choice Bank, are working together on a definitive merger agreement in which EFSC will acquire FCBP in an all-stock merger, according to a press release.

The agreement will see FCBP merging with EFSC and First Choice merging with EB&T, the release stated. The transaction will go through for $397.7 million.

“I am thrilled to announce the transaction and our continued expansion into the California market,” said EFSC President and CEO Jim Lally in the release. “The acquisition of First Choice strengthens our commercial banking foundation in the largest economy in the country. I have tremendous respect for the associates of First Choice and the company they have built since its founding in 2005. They have successfully created a commercially focused community bank with a demonstrated ability to generate organic growth. I am pleased to welcome the diverse and experienced First Choice team to our organization.”

EFSC is headquartered in Clayton, Missouri, the release stated. It has about $10.2 billion in total assets. EB&T offers a variety of business and personal banking services as well as wealth management services.

FCBP is headquartered in Cerritos, California, according to the release, with around $2.5 billion in total assets. First Choice Bank’s primary focus is on helping diverse communities.

The release stated the company had been specializing in “loans to small- to medium-sized businesses and private banking clients, commercial and industrial loans, and commercial real estate loans.”

In separate news, Jim McCarthy, president of i2c, told PYMNTS in October that there will likely be digital tie-ups of all sorts in the new environment, leading to partnerships or outright buyouts, while incumbents look to move fast to keep their tech stocks modern.

Despite the pandemic, or maybe even because of it, more strategic and financial deals have been taking place. And special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) have also been popular.

Examining the new trends often comes down to realizing that customers want more control over digital payments.

Enterprirse Financial Services Buys Out First Choice Bank …

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