Hovde Private Equity Invests $11 Mln in First Atlantic Bank

Hovde Private Equity Advisors said Monday that it has invested $11 million in FirstAtlantic Financial Holdings, which owns FirstAtlantic Bank, of Jacksonville, Fla. Hovde, a Washington D.C. PE firm, said its investment could go up to $25 million over time but will not exceed 24.9% ownership in the bank.  Joseph James, of Hovde Private Equity, was elected to the bank’s board.

PRESS RELEASE

Hovde Private Equity Advisors LLC (“Hovde”) announced that on Friday, November 19, 2010, Financial Services Partners Fund I (the “Fund”) invested $11 million in FirstAtlantic Financial Holdings, Inc., and its wholly owned subsidiary, FirstAtlantic Bank (the “Bank”), located in Jacksonville, Florida.  The Stock Purchase Agreement between the companies was originally executed on June 11, 2010, to enable this initial purchase of $11 million in common shares, and potentially up to $25 million over time, not to exceed 24.9% ownership in the Bank.  Hovde served as the lead investor in an equity offering by the Bank to existing shareholders and other local investors.  In connection with this transaction, Joseph J. Thomas, Managing Director of Hovde Private Equity Advisors, has been elected to the Bank’s Board of Directors.

The proceeds of the capital investment by Hovde will enable the Bank to take advantage of significant organic growth opportunities as well as bank acquisitions in the broader Florida market via the acquisition of one or more banks out of receivership from the FDIC through purchase and assumption transactions and/or other franchise growth transactions. The Bank also plans to build upon its existing history of success in the local community by focusing on advancing relationships with small businesses and professionals while continuing to expand the Bank’s existing core deposit base.

Joseph J. Thomas, Managing Director of Hovde Private Equity Advisors, said: “We are very excited to partner with FirstAtlantic Bank’s board of directors and management and to invest in such a strong community bank.  We believe that the Jacksonville market offers very compelling growth opportunities in the owner-managed business and professional segment.  This investment in FirstAtlantic Bank was undertaken with the intent to not only grow the Bank organically, but also with an eye toward participating in future bank acquisitions and FDIC-assisted transactions in Florida.”

Mitch Hunt, Chief Executive Officer of the Bank, said: “We are pleased that this successful equity offering will enable us to better serve our existing customers and will allow the Bank to pursue larger clients and profitable credit opportunities.  Our Board has been very impressed by Hovde’s unique knowledge of the market, substantial banking experience, and history of investing in community banks.  Joe Thomas will add substantial expertise to our Board as we consider acquisition opportunities going forward.”

Hovde Acquisition, founded in 1994 and based in Washington, DC, is an affiliate of Hovde Private Equity Advisors and the manager of Financial Services Partners Fund.  Hovde Acquisition and its affiliated private equity companies have a history and proven track record of investing in and successfully managing community banks across the United States.  Since its founding in 1994, Hovde Acquisition has made equity investments in 12 community banks and thrifts as well as four specialty finance/financial services companies.

Since 2005, Hovde Acquisition I, LLC has been the manager of Financial Services Partners Fund I. Hovde Private Equity Advisors, LLC, an affiliate, is the investment manager.  Each of these entities is a standalone entity, separate and distinct from Hovde Capital Advisors, LLC, and Hovde Financial, Inc. While the principals of Hovde Capital Advisors, LLC, and Hovde Financial, Inc. do have ownership interests in Hovde Acquisition, and Hovde Private Equity Advisors, operations and investment management are not affiliated with Hovde Capital or Hovde Financial.