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Enterprise Financial Services doubles profits, acquires California bank

Enterprise Financial Services doubles profits, acquires California bank

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Jim Lally

Enterprise Financial Services president and CEO Jim Lally. 

CLAYTON — Enterprise Financial Services grew profits — and its California presence — in the first quarter, leading President and CEO Jim Lally to call it a “solid start to 2021.”

The Clayton-based company made $29.9 million in profits in the first quarter of 2021, up from $12.8 million the same period last year, the company reported Tuesday.

Enterprise also announced it had acquired Cerritos, California-based First Choice Bancorp for $397.7 million. First Choice had approximately $2.5 billion in total assets, $2 billion in loans and $1.9 billion in deposits as of March 31. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of this year, according to a release.

“I am excited about how this adds to our expected growth prospects and diversification of our business,” Lally said in a statement. “We are off to a solid start in 2021.”

First Choice mostly serves commercial and consumer clients in diverse communities and specializes in loans to small- to medium-size businesses and private banking clients, commercial and industrial loans, and commercial real estate loans. First Choice is a Small Business Administration lender. It has eight full-service branches and two loan production offices in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties in Southern California.

Upon the deal’s approval, current Enterprise shareholders will own approximately 80% of the outstanding shares of the combined company, and First Choice shareholders are expected to own approximately 20%.

Enterprise’s acquisition of First Choice deepens the Clayton’s bank presence in California. In November, Enterprise acquired San Diego-based Seacoast Commerce Banc Holdings in a deal valued at $169 million.

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