Business & Real Estate

Irvine firm has deal to acquire Auburn’s Community 1st Bancorp

An Irvine-based financial services company said Thursday that it has a definitive merger agreement to acquire Community 1st Bancorp in Auburn.

Besides its Auburn branch, Community 1st also oversees branch offices in Sacramento and Roseville. The banking firm was founded in February 2006 and is the parent company of Community 1st Bank, a California state-chartered bank with $373 million in total assets.

The buyer, First Foundation Inc., said the pending transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of both companies but is subject to standard closing conditions, approval by Community 1st shareholders and regulatory approvals within the banking industry.

First Foundation expects the deal to close in this year’s fourth quarter.

Under terms of the all-stock agreement, officials said Community 1st Bancorp shareholders will receive 0.453 shares of First Foundation common stock in exchange for each share of Community 1st Bancorp. The stock transaction is valued at $50.4 million, although the final figures might be adjusted based on First Foundation’s stock price at the closing date.

When the deal is finalized, Community 1st Bank will be merged into First Foundation Bank, one of the buyer’s wholly owned subsidiaries.

“In entering into this agreement, Community 1st Bank believes that it has found a strong partner for our next phase of growth,” James Kim, Community 1st president and CEO, said in a statement. “… Our team is excited to be a part of the combined union of these two great banks.”

“This strategic partnership provides First Foundation with an excellent opportunity to expand our presence in Northern California,” said Scott Kavanaugh, CEO of First Foundation.

Founded in 1990, First Foundation services include personal banking, business banking and private wealth management. The company has offices in California (including one in Oakland), Nevada and Hawaii.

Mark Glover: 916-321-1184, @markhglover