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- 2014 - June - 6th -

Fidelity Southern to buy 3 branches from CenterState

By Mark Basch, Contributing Writer

Atlanta-based Fidelity Southern Corp. announced a deal Thursday to expand its Jacksonville area presence by buying three local bank branches from CenterState Banks Inc.

CenterState had just acquired the branches in its merger with First Southern Bancorp Inc., which was completed on June 1.

Fidelity Southern’s subsidiary, Fidelity Bank, currently has just one bank branch in Jacksonville at 9802 Old Baymeadows Road. It also has a mortgage lending office in Jacksonville.

The company has agreed to acquire CenterState branches at 10024 San Jose Blvd. and 10 Florida A1A N. in Ponte Vedra Beach, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing by CenterState.

Fidelity Bank also will acquire the deposits of a CenterState branch at 709 S. Ponce de Leon Blvd. in St. Augustine, but it intends to close that office and move it to a new St. Augustine location.

Fidelity Bank also is buying three Central Florida branches from CenterState.

“Fidelity intends to opportunistically look for other branches in the corridor from Jacksonville to Tampa,” Fidelity Southern President Palmer Proctor said in a news release.

The company’s bank branches are mainly in Georgia but it said it services $689 million in loans in Florida and was looking to build out its branch operations in the state.

The CenterState and First Southern merger, announced in January, brought together two banks that entered the Jacksonville market by acquiring failed local banks.

CenterState, based in Davenport, entered the Jacksonville market in 2012 by acquiring First Guaranty Bank & Trust Co. Boca Raton-based First Southern came into the market in 2010 by acquiring Haven Trust Bank Florida.

mbasch@baileypub.com

(904) 356-2466

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