TIAA is in talks to buy EverBank Financial Corp., the largest Florida-based lender by deposits, to expand in internet banking, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the discussions are confidential.
EverBank was in advanced negotiations to sell itself to a “well-respected financial-services company” for $19.50 a share along with payments to holders of preferred stock, the company said last week in a statement that didn’t identify the potential buyer. TIAA’s involvement was reported earlier Wednesday by Reuters, which said the deal could be worth about $2.5 billion.
The acquisition would add to TIAA’s wealth-management business and give the financial-services firm, led by former Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Roger Ferguson, a platform to provide personal and business loans in the U.S. EverBank is primarily an online bank with about 3,000 employees and just 12 branches at the end of last year.
A spokesman for Jacksonville-based EverBank, declined to comment, as did a spokeswoman for TIAA, which opened a Charlotte campus in 2001 in the University area. The company now has more than 3,000 employees there. In February, it held a grand opening for a new Ballantyne office.
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EverBank shares, which surged 13 percent on July 25 after Bloomberg reported a possible sale, added 3 percent to $18.55 at 10:32 a.m. in New York. The stock has climbed 16 percent this year.
EverBank, which went public in 2012, provides personal and business loans across the U.S. and operates a wealth-management division. The firm had $27.4 billion of assets and $18.8 billion of deposits as of June 30. Its name also adorns the stadium that’s home to the National Football League’s Jacksonville Jaguars.
Small and mid-size lenders are facing increasing pressure to sell or merge with rivals to better handle compliance costs associated with increased regulatory scrutiny brought by the financial crisis.
Pittsburgh-based FNB Corp. agreed to buy Raleigh-based Yadkin Financial Corp. for about $1.4 billion on July 21, while Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce said in June that it planned to buy Chicago-based PrivateBancorp Inc. for $3.8 billion.
EverBank was among a number of small lenders that raised money from private-equity firms to stabilize balance sheets after the crisis. Its two largest investors are buyout firm Sageview Capital, which held more than 8 percent of its outstanding common shares as of March 31, and funds managed by TPG Capital Management, which held about 7 percent, according to a proxy filing.
TIAA is known for providing insurance and retirement products to teachers and other employees of not-for-profit institutions.
The company has been diversifying operations under Ferguson, buying wealth-management technology firm MyVest in June to help TIAA streamline its interactions with clients about personal finance and acquiring Nuveen Investments in 2014 for more than $6 billion to expand in mutual funds.
TIAA, which had $861 billion of assets under management at the end of March, has no publicly traded stock.
The company is among not-for-profit insurers that have been expanding in recent years through acquisitions, winning market share from publicly traded firms.
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. agreed in February to purchase a network of about 4,000 financial advisers from MetLife, while New York Life Insurance Co. has been buying boutique asset managers including IndexIQ, pushing the firm into exchange-traded funds and increasing offerings for retail investors.