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CenterState Banks Purchases Gateway Financial Holdings of Florida for $132 million

Written By: Chris Eversole

CenterState Banks Inc., based in Winter Haven, announced Thursday (Dec. 1) that it has agreed to buy Gateway Financial Holdings of Florida Inc. for $132 million.

Gateway Financial Holdings is the parent company of Gateway Bank of Central Florida, which serves Alachua and Marion counties – including a branch in Gainesville and one in the City of Alachua.

“We look forward to merging Gateway Bank of Central Florida and the entire Gateway banking organization with CenterState,” said Thomas D. Ingram, the CEO of Gateway Bank of Central Florida.

“We already enjoy a long and valued correspondent banking relationship with CenterState and know firsthand the company shares our banking culture and our customer service attitude.”

Gateway Bank of Central Florida Chairman Bob Dale also commented. “The Gateway organization is one of the top performing banks in the state, and, as a result, we have attracted considerable merger interest in the past few years,” he said.

“On behalf of our shareholders, we considered each, however, we believe CenterState best matches our company culture, and this merger is in the best interest of our customers, employees and shareholders.”

Gateway Financial Holdings, headquartered in Daytona Beach, also owns affiliates in Daytona Beach and Sarasota.

CenterState, which is expanding its presence, announced in October it would buy Platinum Bank Holding Co. in Brandon for $83.9 million.

Once the two transactions close, CenterState will have $6.5 billion in assets and 85 offices throughout Florida and will become the second-largest community bank in the state, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

John Corbett, CenterState’s president and CEO, commented: “The merger is financially rewarding for both sets of shareholders, and it provides a logical expansion into attractive markets on the Interstate 4 and Interstate 75 corridors,” he said. We want to extend a warm welcome to Gateway’s associates and clients.”

The merger agreement, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017, is subject regulatory approvals.

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