Palmetto-based community bank to merge with First America

BRADENTON — First America Holdings Corp. and Manatee River Community Bank Holdings announced an agreement today to merge their holding companies and banks.

Manatee River Community Bank, which is based in Palmetto, and First America, of Osprey, will have about $285 million in assets with the merger.Shareholders and regulator agencies must still approve the merger, but the transaction is expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year.

The combined company will be headquartered at First America’s offices at 2811 Manatee Ave. W, and the combined bank will remain FDIC insured.

Manatee River Community Bank, which has two branches in Manatee County, had 8,199 deposit accounts and $156.5 million in total assets through Jan. 30.

Deposits at First America, which has three branches in the area, totaled $94.8 million.

“Despite a challenging economic and banking environment, we believe the timing is perfect,” said Dan Hager, president and chief executive officer of First America, in a news release.

Once the merger is complete, Hager will be appointed chairman and chief executive officer of the combined bank, and Allen Langford, who is president and chief executive officer of Manatee River, will be president.

“The combined company will have greater financial strength, market presence, and growth potential than either bank has individually,” Langford said in a news release.

Hager and Langford were not available for comment Thursday evening, which is when they planned to notify employees and report to a board of directors meeting.

The merger will not result in job cuts, and both boards of directors will be maintained.