Achieva Credit Union acquisition of bank approved

Calusa Bank to Become Part of Achieva

DUNEDIN, FL (December 1, 2015) — Achieva Credit Union today announced it has gained the necessary federal and state approvals to complete its acquisition of Calusa Bank, a Florida state-chartered bank in Sarasota and Charlotte counties that holds $165 million in assets.  This is the first acquisition of a bank by a credit union in Florida, and the seventh nationally. The merger will bring Achieva’s total number of branches to 24 and total assets close to $1.4 billion.

This approval represents the last step required to complete the planned transaction, and the conversion of Calusa branches into Achieva locations is already underway. Established in 2007, Calusa has four branches in North Port, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda and Venice.  All four locations will now become branches of Achieva, and the bank’s customers will become Achieva Credit Union members.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Achieva will purchase all of the issued and outstanding shares of Calusa Bank, making this the first “whole bank” acquisition by a credit union, according to the negotiators. This is unique, negotiators say, because previous transactions between credit unions and banks were all structured as purchase and assumption of only a majority of the assets and deposits.

“The transaction process has gone just as smoothly as we could have wished,” said Achieva Chief Executive Officer Gary Regoli. “This helps broaden our reach, and it follows the Achieva strategy of growing smartly into areas where we can provide the tremendous benefits of Achieva to new members. We are looking forward to becoming a stronger partner in each of these communities because community involvement and leadership is a big part of the Achieva ethos.”

Unlike banks, credit unions are cooperatives that are owned and operated by the members they serve.  At Achieva Credit Union, the board of directors is made up of Achieva members – all unpaid volunteers – who look out for the best interests of their fellow members. Federally insured credit unions such as Achieva are insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) which backs individual deposits up to $250,000 with the full faith and credit of the United States government.

“It was immediately evident that Achieva’s service culture and attention to the customer was in lockstep with ours, giving us assurance that our customers will continue to receive the unparalleled level of service they have come to expect,” said Lew Albert Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Calusa.

Atlantic Merchant Capital Advisors LLC and Feldman Financial Advisors Inc. served as financial advisors to Achieva and Michael Bell of Howard & Howard provided legal counsel to Achieva. Hovde Group LLC served as exclusive financial advisor to Calusa Bank and Richard Pearlman of Igler Pearlman P.A. served as legal counsel.

About Achieva Credit Union

Achieva Credit Union was founded in 1937 in Pinellas County. Today, it is rated a Superior 5-Star credit union by Bauer Financial and has more than $2.7 billion in assets and 25 branches serving more than 160,000 members. Anyone who lives or works in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota Counties, or whose family member has an Achieva Credit Union account can bank with Achieva. For more information, visit


Claudia Sinram
National Strategies PR
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