Achieva Credit Union said Tuesday it has signed an agreement to acquire Calusa Bank, a Florida state-chartered bank in Sarasota and Charlotte counties with $165 million in assets.

This would be the first acquisition of a bank by a credit union in Florida, and only the seventh nationally. The merger, which has to receive Calusa and regulatory approval, would bring Achieva’s number of branches to 24 and total assets to $1.3 billion.

Established in 2007, Calusa has four branches in North Port, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda and Venice. All four branches would operate as branches of Achieva if the sale is finalized later this year.

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.  Previous transactions were all structured as purchase and assumption of only a majority of the assets and deposits. 

Unlike banks, credit unions are cooperatives, 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 are charged with looking out for the best interests of fellow members.