EverBank in Advanced Takeover Talks With Undisclosed Bidder

  • Florida-based lender has market capitalization of $2.2 billion
  • ‘Well-respected’ financial-services company is suitor

EverBank Financial Corp., Florida’s largest bank by deposits, is in “advanced negotiations” to sell itself to an undisclosed bidder as U.S. regional lenders seek ways to cope with regulations and low interest rates.

A “well-respected financial-services company” has discussed buying EverBank for $19.50 a share along with payments to holders of preferred stock, the Jacksonville-based lender said in a statement Tuesday. The bank, run by Chief Executive Officer Robert Clements, jumped 13 percent to $17.56 Monday, giving it a valuation of about $2.2 billion, after Bloomberg reported it was exploring a sale.

Acquisitions of small and midsize banks have been accelerating as regional lenders seek scale to grapple with higher regulatory costs and interest rates near historic lows. F.N.B. Corp. agreed to buy Yadkin Financial Corp. for about $1.4 billion last week, while Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce said last month it would acquire Chicago-based PrivateBancorp Inc. for $3.8 billion.

“As a result of an ongoing review of its strategic alternatives, it is in advanced negotiations with a well-respected financial-services company,” EverBank said in the statement. “There can be no certainty that these negotiations will result in a definitive agreement or that the terms will not vary from those currently under discussion.”

The company said it agreed to an exclusive negotiation period that expires Aug. 8. It began working with UBS Group AG in the past two months to gauge interest in a sale after receiving an unsolicited approach, according to people familiar with the matter.

Quarterly Earnings

EverBank also announced second-quarter financial results Tuesday and said it won’t conduct a previously scheduled conference call. Net income tumbled 48 percent to $21.6 million, or 15 cents a share. Adjusted earnings were 32 cents a share, compared with the 36-cent average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

EverBank, which went public in 2012, provides personal and business loans across the U.S., and also operates a wealth-management division. It’s primarily an online bank, with just 12 branches as of June 2015, according to the latest data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The company made two acquisitions totaling almost $3 billion in 2012, buying a warehouse-finance business from MetLife Inc. and a commercial-property lending firm from General Electric Co.

EverBank was among a number of small banks that raised money from private-equity firms to stabilize balance sheets after the financial crisis. Its two largest investors are buyout firms Sageview Capital LP, which held more than 8 percent of its outstanding common shares as of March 15, and funds managed by TPG Capital Management LP, which held about 7 percent, according to its latest proxy filing.

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