Robbins LLP: Acquisition of Palmetto Bancshares Inc. (PLMT) by United Community Banks, Inc. (UCBI) May Not Be in Shareholders’ Best Interests
Robbins LLP is investigating the proposed acquisition of Palmetto Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: PLMT) by United Community Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ: UCBI). On April 22, 2015, the two companies announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which United Community Banks will acquire Palmetto Bancshares. Under the terms of the agreement, Palmetto shareholders will receive the equivalent of $19.25 for each share of Palmetto common stock.
Is the Proposed Acquisition Best for Palmetto Bancshares and Its Shareholders?
Robbins LLP’s investigation focuses on whether the board of directors at Palmetto Bancshares is undertaking a fair process to obtain maximum value and adequately compensate its shareholders.
As an initial matter, the $19.25 merger consideration represents a premium of only 2.6% based on Palmetto’s closing price on March 23, 2015. This premium is significantly below the average one-month premium of nearly 40.2% for comparable transactions within the past five years. Palmetto has traded above the offer price multiple times in the past three years, most recently trading as high as $19.50 on April 13, 2015.
On April 22, 2015, Palmetto Bancshares reported strong quarterly earnings for its first quarter 2015. First quarter 2015 net interest income increased 1.9% to $9.98 million compared to the fourth quarter of 2014, and total loans increased 10% to $832 million compared to the same period a year ago. In commenting on these results, Palmetto Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Samuel L. Erwin remarked, “Our financial results for the first quarter reflect the underlying strength of our franchise as evidenced by our strong loan growth, increased core deposits, higher noninterest income and lower expenses. Entering 2015, we believed that our hard work over the past few years would manifest itself in our financial results this year, and our first quarter results are tangible confirmation of our efforts.”
In light of these facts, Robbins LLP is examining Palmetto Bancshares board of directors’ decision to sell the company now rather than allow shareholders to continue to participate in the company’s continued success and future growth prospects.
Palmetto Bancshares shareholders have the option to file a class action lawsuit to ensure the board of directors obtains the best possible price for shareholders and the disclosure of material information.
Palmetto Bancshares shareholders interested in information about their rights and potential remedies can contact attorney Darnell R. Donahue at (800) 350-6003, or you can complete the form below and we will contact you directly.