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Deadline Extended Again for Industry’s Largest Credit Union and Bank Acquisition Deal

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Will the industry’s largest credit union and bank acquisition deal get final approvals from regulators?

For nearly a year, the $11.6 billion VyStar Credit Union and the $1.6 billion Heritage Southeast Bank have been waiting for the go-ahead from regulators to close the deal, and no one is saying publicly what, if necessary, could delay a decision.

VyStar and Heritage Southeast Bank have agreed, for the second time, to extend the deadline until March 31 to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals to finalize the purchase and support agreement.

On March 31, 2021, Vystar in Jacksonville, Florida agreed to buy Heritage Southeast Bank of Jonesboro, Georgia for approximately $189 million.

Originally, financial institutions had set a deadline of December 31, 2021 to obtain regulatory approvals. But in October, they agreed to extend that deadline until February 28.

“While the February 28 date is no longer possible at this time, as we await a decision from the NCUA Board of Directors, VyStar supports its proposed purchase of Heritage Southeast Bank,” a spokesperson said. of VyStar in a prepared statement. “The agreement brings together two strong and successful financial institutions in an open market transaction at a fair and equitable price. We continue to be excited about all the benefits this will bring to employees, members and communities. »

In a prepared statement released by Heritage Southeast Bank on Feb. 28, the financial institutions said they continue to seek regulatory approvals from the FDIC, NCUA, Georgia Department of Banking and Finance and Florida Office of Financial Regulation.

However, the prepared statement also noted that there is no assurance that financial institutions will receive regulatory approvals in the first quarter, or at all, which would kill the deal.

When reached by CU time, the NCUA and FDIC declined to comment. Both state regulators said acquisition applications from credit unions and banks were pending.