San Diego Business Journal

Bank Acquisition Taking Longer Than Expected

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

First PacTrust Bancorp, parent of PacTrust Bank in Chula Vista, extended the deadline on its pending acquisition of Gateway Bancorp of Cerritos in a filing dated Feb. 24.

The original deal was supposed to be completed by April 30, according to the bank’s securities filing.

CEO Greg Mitchell said approvals from regulators are taking a bit longer because PacTrust’s former primary regulator, the Office of Thrift Supervision, was assimilated into the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and there’s more scrutiny on transactions.

Mitchell said he expects that the $17 million purchase of Gateway and a second acquisition of Beach Business Bank of Manhattan Beach for $37 million will be done before June 30.

Now at about $900 million in assets, PacTrust would increase to about $1.3 billion and 19 branches, but Mitchell said it could grow to about $5 billion in five years.

The bank is moving its headquarters to Irvine this month and will have about 60 employees working there initially. Once the Gateway deal closes, it should house about 150 employees.

Mitchell said the company has put the Chula Vista headquarters at Bay Boulevard up for sale, but will maintain it through the end of this month. The office formerly housed First PacTrust’s predecessor business, Rohr Federal Credit Union, since 1976.

In other news, First PacTrust’s board of directors said March 1 that it approved a quarterly cash dividend of 12 cents per share on its common stock. The dividend is payable April 2 to shareholders of record as of March 12. Based on the stock’s trading price of $11.72 as of Feb. 29, the dividend results in an annualized dividend yield of 4.09 percent.

— Mike Allen