For the past three years, organisational restructuring and operational reforms have seen Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: ACFC), the holding company for Atlantic Coast Bank, on a path of resurgence and upward mobility.
When Illinois based investment firm PL Capital Group recently claimed a 6.4 percent stake in the company, it was just another addition to ACFC’s stakeholders’ list. Though PL Capital is known as professional agitators that invest in small to midsized banks in order to leverage the management and strategy operators there, its association with Atlantic Coast is much more likely a case of investing in a profitable unit.
As says John Stephens, CEO, Atlantic Coast Bank, “The bank has attracted a lot of attention over the last 18 months as a result of our $48 million capital raise and successful turnaround strategy. ACB has a strong leadership team that has demonstrated an ability to generate consistent earnings, and the bank is well positioned for continued growth.”
Since July, when the buy-up happened, PL has not bought any stock nor filed for any further purchase. Legally, it will have a capping of 9.9 percent share ownership in the company. In response to PL’s stock purchase, the bank is not doing much different, said Stephens.
“We continue to execute on our strategy of revenue acceleration, coupled with operational excellence, expense management, and risk mitigation,” Stephens said. “We remain excited about our future, as we’re committed to grow the bank and continue creating shareholder value”, he said.
About Atlantic Coast Financial
Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation is an publicly traded bank holding company headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida (a Maryland corporation) and listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market (NASDAQ: ACFC), which wholly owns Atlantic Coast Bank. Atlantic Coast Bank’s services are focused primarily on Personal Banking and Business Banking in the Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia regions.
In its annual general meeting held in May 2015, the Bank re-elected two directors for three-year terms: Bhanu Choudhrie, Executive Director of C&C Alpha Group Ltd, a London-based private equity group; and James D. Hogan, retired Chief Risk Officer of the Company and the Bank.