First California Rejects Acquisition OfferWednesday, May 9, 2012
First California Financial Group turned down an acquisition offer from PacWest Bancorp over the lack of clarifying information about the proposed deal.
Westlake Village-based First California Financial is the parent of First California Bank, a 20-branch institution serving southern California from San Luis Obispo County to San Diego County. The institution has $1.9 billion in total assets.
PacWest has 37 branches serving Ventura County to San Bernardino County. The bank has total asset of $5.5 billion.
PacWest’s offer would have paid First California shareholders $7.25 in PacWest shares for each share in First California.
Combining the two banks would have been compelling for shareholders in both institutions and resulted in a lender with nearly $7.5 billion in assets, said PacWest CEO Matt Wagner.
While the bank prefers to keep its acquisition negotiations private, it disclosed the offer to First California after the other bank rejected it and ignored efforts to engage in discussions, Wagner said.
“Given the significant premium we have offered, we wanted to make sure all (First California) constituents are aware of this attractive proposal,” Wagner said in a prepared statement.
In a statement released May 9, First California said its board of directors turned down the offer after PacWest failed to provide satisfactory answers about the terms of the deal and refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement with a non-exclusivity provision.
“The First California Board did not believe that it was in the best interests of stockholders to grant exclusivity to PacWest in the absence of satisfactory clarification of the terms and value of its proposal and taking into account the other strategic alternatives that First California may pursue, including discussions with third parties,” the statement said.
Mark R. Madler