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PacWest to Buy Venture Capital Lender Square 1
Posted: 03/02/2015 | Castle Creek

by Chelsey Dulaney

PacWest Bancorp has agreed to buy venture capital-focused lender Square 1 Financial Inc. for about $790 million in stock, less than a year after Square 1 went public.

Under the terms of the deal, Square 1 shareholders will receive about 0.6 shares of PacWest stock for each Square 1 share held, for a total value of $27.49 a share, the companies said Monday. Square 1 went public late last March at $18 a share and closed on Friday at $27.68 a share.

The companies pegged the enterprise value of the deal, which typically includes debt, at $849 million.

The merger would be one of the bigger banking deals of the past several years, as increased regulatory scrutiny has led many midsize financial institutions to shy away from potential transactions. Widely seen as spurring those fears has been M&T Bank Corp. ’s deal to buy Hudson City Bancorp Inc., which remains on hold after 2½ years following concerns raised by the Federal Reserve about M&T’s anti-money-laundering program.

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