$900 Million in New Capital Makes BankUnited One of Florida’s Best Capitalized Banks
John Kanas Becomes Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Bank Poised to Grow into Regional Institution
Media Conference Call to Be Held Tonight at 8:15 PM EDT
CORAL GABLES, FL, May 21, 2009 – Investors led by John Kanas announced today that they have invested $900 million in a new depository institution that acquired the operations of BankUnited, FSB from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, as Receiver. The investors include funds advised by The Blackstone Group, The Carlyle Group, Centerbridge Partners and WL Ross & Co.
After the close of business on May 21, 2009 the Office of Thrift Supervision closed BankUnited, FSB and appointed the FDIC as Receiver. The FDIC facilitated a sale of BankUnited’s operations, deposits, and assets to the newly formed depository institution. The transaction is the culmination of a competitive four-month auction process run by the FDIC. The new institution will retain the name BankUnited and will remain headquartered in Coral Gables, Florida. The new BankUnited, one of the strongest banks in Florida as a result of this transaction, re-commits itself to serving individuals, businesses and local communities throughout Florida and the Southeast.
Mr. Kanas, who is the former Chairman and CEO of North Fork Bancorporation, will become BankUnited’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Kanas brings more than 35 years of successful bank leadership and is widely credited with building North Fork into one of New York’s largest and most profitable banking companies.
“Today’s transaction re-establishes BankUnited as a safe, strong and well-capitalized bank with the resources and commitment to serve customers and communities in Florida and the Southeast,” Mr. Kanas said. “We want our customers to know that BankUnited is eager to serve their financial needs. This transition will be seamless to customers as they will continue to bank at the same branches, use the same ATM cards, checks and other BankUnited products delivered by the same employees they know.
“This investment marks a new and important chapter in BankUnited’s history,” Mr. Kanas continued. “We believe in the strength, vibrancy and potential of the Florida market. Over the coming months, we plan to introduce more products and better services to individual and business customers. BankUnited has a strong and rich history serving Floridians and, as of today, we have a real opportunity to grow into an important regional institution. I look forward to being a part of the bank’s future growth story alongside BankUnited’s existing management team as we help take part in Florida’s economic recovery. This transaction is beneficial for BankUnited employees, as this bank embarks on a path of renewed growth and vitality.”
Banc of America Merrill Lynch Securities served as financial advisor, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP served as legal advisor to the investor group and new management team of BankUnited. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP served as legal advisor to The Blackstone Group, The Carlyle Group and Centerbridge Partners. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz served as legal advisor to WL Ross & Co.
The company will hold a media conference call tonight at 8:15 PM EDT to discuss the transaction. To access the call, please dial 1-866-225-8754 for domestic callers or 1-480-629-9725 for international callers.
BankUnited Financial Corp. is the holding company for BankUnited FSB, the largest banking institution headquartered in Florida.
Serving customers through 86 branches in 13 coastal counties, BankUnited offers a full spectrum of consumer and commercial banking products and services, including online products that can be accessed through www.bankunited.com. For additional information, call 1-877-779-2265.
The Abernathy MacGregor Group
Tom Johnson or Mike Pascale