DUNEDIN, Fla.—Achieva CU has been approved by state and federal regulators to acquire Calusa Bank, a $165 million state-chartered bank in Sarasota and Charlotte counties.

Though the $1.1 billion Achieva is the first credit union in Florida to purchase a bank, this is not the first deal of its kind. What makes this one different, however, is that the CU will purchase all of the issued and outstanding Calusa shares, making it the first "whole bank" acquisition by a credit union, Achieva explained. In previous CU-bank transactions, the purchasing credit union assumed only a portion—albeit a majority—of the assets and deposits.

With more than 128,000 members, Achieva reports it has already begun the process of converting Calusa branches over to the credit union. The 8-year-old bank has four branches in North Port, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda and Venice.

"The transaction process has gone just as smoothly as we could have wished," said Achieva CEO Gary Regoli. "This helps broaden our reach, and it follows the Achieva strategy of growing smartly into areas where we can provide the tremendous benefits of Achieva to new members. We are looking forward to becoming a stronger partner in each of these communities because community involvement and leadership is a big part of the Achieva ethos."

For Calusa's part, CEO Lew Albert said the bank was pleased to find a merger partner with a strong service philosophy.

"It was immediately evident that Achieva's service culture and attention to the customer was in lockstep with ours, giving us assurance that our customers will continue to receive the unparalleled level of service they have come to expect," said Lew Albert Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Calusa.

Those customers will now be members of Achieva, which was founded in 1937.

Atlantic Merchant Capital Advisors LLC and Feldman Financial Advisors Inc. served as financial advisors to Achieva and Michael Bell of Howard & Howard provided legal counsel to Achieva. Hovde Group LLC served as exclusive financial advisor to Calusa Bank and Richard Pearlman of Igler Pearlman P.A. served as legal counsel.

Subscribe Now

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the credit union industry

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.