This $1B bank merger means more growth for Arizona market

By |2018-06-20T16:39:27+00:00June 20th, 2018|

First Published By Phoenix Business Journal, June 19, 2018

Tulsa, Oklahoma-based BOK Financial Corp. is paying nearly $1 billion to buy Denver-based CoBiz Financial Inc.

Both have a presence in Arizona, with BOK (Nasdaq: BOKF) taking 1.3 percent deposit market share in Phoenix and 1 percent deposit market share in Arizona. It has three Bank of Arizona banking centers in Phoenix and one in Mesa. CoBiz Bank (Nasdaq: COBZ) also has four Arizona Business Bank branches in metro Phoenix.

The $977 million acquisition will provide additional liquidity to continue to fund robust growth in Arizona and Colorado, according to BOK’s presentation to investors on June 18.

Currently, 5 percent of BOK’s loans are in Arizona, but with the combined entity, that book of business would increase to 9 percent in the state, according to its presentation.

Both banks specialize in health-care lending.

Ernie Garfield, owner of Interstate Bank Developers Inc. who helped start 18 community banks in Arizona, said both BOK Financial and CoBiz Financial are stellar banks.

“Their service to Arizona health care and other small businesses is outstanding, and their stockholders should be happy with their substantial reward,” Garfield said.

CoBiz has $700 million in deposits in Phoenix, giving it the 12th largest deposit footprint in the region. It has total assets of $3.8 billion and 15 locations total in Colorado and Arizona.

The deal is expected to close by the fourth quarter, subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approvals as well as approval of CoBiz shareholders.

BOK is using 75 percent stock and the rest cash to make the purchase.

During the past five years, the BOK Foundation has donated more than $3 million to charitable organizations in Arizona and Colorado, with employees serving in leadership for 78 philanthropic organizations, according to a statement announcing the merger.

During that same period, CoBiz donated more than $7.6 million to charities in Arizona and Colorado through its employee-led CoBiz Cares Foundation, annual concert fundraiser the Biz Bash and direct corporate giving.