Pacific Capital Shares Surged: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Santa Barbara Bank & Trust parent Pacific Capital Bancorp (NAS: PCBC) were flying high today, gaining as much as 58% in intraday trading.

So what: There's no question why Pacific Capitals shares are soaring today -- Mitsubishi UFJ Financial subsidiary UnionBanCal announced a proposal to buy out Pacific Capital for roughly $1.5 billion, or $46 per share. Pacific Capital is roughly 75% owned by investor Gerald Ford's Ford Financial Fund and, according to UnionBanCal, the fund has backed the deal.

Now what: This is a great outcome for recent buyers of Pacific Capital, because there's no mistaking the fact that this is a huge premium. For longer-term holders, though, it's somewhat of a cold comfort, as shares were trading substantially higher just two years ago.

In any case, with the support of Ford's fund, it looks very likely that the buyout will go through and investors are signaling their optimism by boosting shares to within 2% of the proposed takeout price. Shareholders confident in the consummation of the deal can take their time deciding where to redeploy their funds while grabbing that extra 2% difference between today's price and the offer price. Those who are wary about regulatory hurdles or any other issue that could stall the deal may want to forgo the extra 2% and just cash out now.

Want to keep up to date on Pacific Capital Bancorp? Add it to your Watchlist.

At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributorMatt Koppenhefferdoes not have a financial interest in any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting hisCAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter@KoppTheFoolor onFacebook.The Motley Fool owns shares of Pacific Capital Bancorp. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool'sdisclosure policyprefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.

Copyright © 1995 - 2012 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.