CenterState and South State Merge to Create Southeast Regional Bank

WINTER HAVEN – CenterState Bank Corporation, the parent company of CenterState Bank, and South State Corporation, the parent company of South State Bank, jointly announced Monday that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which the companies will combine in an all-stock merger of equals with a total market value of approximately $6 billion to create a leading Southeastern-based regional bank. CenterState has locations in all three Treasure Coast counties, Indian River, Martin and St. Lucie.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, which was unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies, CenterState shareholders will receive 0.3001 shares of South State common stock for each share of CenterState common stock they own. CenterState shareholders will own approximately 53% and South State shareholders will own approximately 47% of the combined company.

The combined company will operate under the South State Bank name and will trade under the South State ticker symbol SSB on the Nasdaq stock market. The company will be headquartered in Winter Haven, current home of CenterState, and will maintain a significant presence in Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Atlanta, Georgia.

Robert R. Hill, Jr., CEO of South State, will serve as executive chairman of the combined company. John C. Corbett, CEO of CenterState, will be CEO of the combined company. The board of directors of the combined company will consist of sixteen directors evenly split between the two legacy companies.

“We are excited to partner with CenterState,” said Hill. “We have great respect for John, the management team and the company CenterState has built. This is a great combination of cultures, which will create tremendous value for our shareholders.”

“We have known and admired Robert and his team for over a decade, and we believe our two organizations are an outstanding fit,” said Corbett. “Combining these two high-performing teams will allow us to build an even stronger company together.”

A statement said the merger offers these benefits: 

• Enhanced Scale to Drive Growth and Improve Profitability: The pro forma organization, with approximately $34 billion in assets and $26 billion in deposits, combines two high-quality companies with comparable credit and management philosophies.

• Strengthens Both Companies: This merger combines two highly respected management teams operating complementary business lines. It also diversifies the geographies of each company into a contiguous six-state footprint, spanning from Florida to Virginia.

• Combines Two Strong Core Deposit Franchises and High-Quality Loan Portfolios: The combined company will benefit from the combination of two low-cost core-funded deposit bases and high-quality loan portfolios, providing a stable source of funds and customers.

• High-Growth Markets: The organization will have locations in 10 of the 15 fastest growing Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) in the Southeast and will have a pro forma deposit-weighted population growth of 6%. The combined company will have a presence in seven of the ten most populous markets in the Southeast.

• Experienced and Compatible Management Teams: The management teams of the two companies have extensive experience and operate with very similar philosophies and values. Each management team has successfully completed numerous mergers and acquisitions and the subsequent integrations of systems and teams.

The merger will combine the executive management teams from both organizations. In addition to Hill and Corbett, the executive team of the combined company will include three members from each legacy company.

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Jan. 28, 2020|