Los Angeles Business Journal

California United Bank to Buy Anaheim Bank

By Richard Clough Friday, December 9, 2011

California United Bank announced Friday that it will expand its limited presence in Orange County through the acquisition of a community bank in Anaheim.

California United, headquartered in Encino, said it will purchase Premier Commercial Bancorp and its subsidiary, Premier Commercial Bank, in a transaction valued at $38.1 million. The deal, which has been approved by both boards but is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval, is expected to close in the second quarter.

The acquisition will boost California United’s assets by more than 50 percent to $1.2 billion. California United will continue to operate Premier Commercial’s Anaheim and Irvine branches, bringing its total branch count to eight, along with one commercial loan office. Until now, California United’s Orange County representation was a loan office in Irvine.

“We have always believed that Orange County presents significant opportunities for our middle-market focused business lending,” said David Rainer, California United chief executive, in a statement. “The merger … is a logical step in our strategy to achieve critical mass by expanding in local and adjacent markets with attractive demographics and to continue to build franchise value for our new and current shareholders.”

A new bank holding company will issue shares in exchange for stock currently held by shareholders of the two banks.

California United, founded in 2004, completed one previous acquisition when it bought California Oaks State Bank last year.