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Cornelius News

United Community Bank to purchase Aquesta for $131 million

May 27. Aquesta Financial, the parent company of Cornelius-based Aquesta Bank, is being acquired by United Community Banks in a deal valued at $131 million.

The cash and stock deal will close in the fourth quarter.

Jim Engel, CEO of Aquesta, said the local banking company needed a partner with a larger balance sheet and expanded products to continue growing.

“Our partnership with the United team provides just that, and I believe the synergies that exist between our companies will result in tremendous success for both sides,” he said.


Aquesta, founded in 2006, was known for its local focus and customer service. It’s the only publicly traded banking company in North Mecklenburg. Aquesta reported total assets of $752 million at the end of the first quarter of this year.

Stock/cash deal

Aquesta stockholders can receive up to 30 percent of their payment in cash.

The stock portion of the merger consideration is based upon 0.6386 shares of United common stock being issued in exchange for each share of Aquesta common stock.

Stock prices

It is a significant premium to Aquesta shareholders over the current stock price.

UCB closed at $33.79 yesterday, up 61 cents a share. Aquesta closed yesterday at $12.95 a share. According to Yahoo Finance, the 52-week trading range was $9.50 to $13.15 a share.

To review Aquesta’s stock price over the past nine years, click here.

UCB statement

“This transaction is consistent with our desire to expand into attractive and fast-growing markets that we know well,” said Lynn Harton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of United. “We have been investing in Charlotte over the past several years and have commercial banking and mortgage teams already in place. Aquesta is an exciting opportunity for us to increase our presence and accelerate our growth with a high-quality company that shares our values of customer service, employee engagement and community development.”