July 24, 2018 / 11:35 AM / 3 months ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Synovus to buy Florida bank in $2.9 bln deal

(Corrects to say offer represents a discount of 1.8 percent, not premium of 5.5 percent, in second paragraph; corrects company name to FCB Financial Holdings from FC Financial Holdings in the second paragraph)

July 24 (Reuters) - Synovus Financial Corp said on Tuesday it would buy a Florida-based bank for $2.9 billion to boost its deposits and become one of the leading lenders in the U.S. Southeast region.

Synovus offered $58.15 per share for Florida Community Bank owner FCB Financial Holdings Inc, representing a discount of 1.8 percent to FCB Financial's Monday close.

The deal will help Georgia-based Synovus add $9.9 billion in deposits and 50 full-service banking centers, with significant market share in all top 10 Florida markets including Miami-Dade, the largest market by population in the Southeast.

Synovus' shares were down 3.4 percent at $53.23 in premarket trading, while those of FCB fell 3.71 percent to $57.00.

Regional banks in the U.S. are using money freed up from of lower taxes and taking advantage of easing regulations to bulk up on deposits through acquisitions at a time when interest rates are still low.

The recent regulation overhaul reduces federal oversight of banks between $50 billion and $250 billion in assets, and eases lending, capital and trading rules for smaller lenders.

Synovus said it expects the deal to add about 6.5 percent to adjusted earnings per share and about $40 million in pretax savings by 2020.

BofA Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan Securities were financial advisers to Synovus, while Sandler O’Neill + Partners, Guggenheim Securities and Evercore Group advised FCB Financial Holdings. (Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri and Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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