Independent Buys TCF Branches

November 20, 2006
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IONIA — Independent Bank Corp. has signed an agreement with Ann Arbor-based TCF Bank Michigan to buy 10 TCF branches in Battle Creek, Bay City and Saginaw. 

Collectively, the 10 branches have total deposits of about $235. The $31 million deal is expected to be finalized in March, pending regulatory approval.

Bob Scott, president of TCF Bank Michigan, said the transaction is “mutually beneficial” for both companies because TCF’s branch expansion plans focus more heavily on larger urban areas, whereas Independent Bank primarily serves rural and suburban communities.

“As we look at our future branching objectives, our greatest opportunities for expansion are in the Southeast Michigan areas,” Scott said. “Independent Bank has a strong statewide branch expansion program, and we are confident that existing customers in these 10 branches will continue to be well-served by Independent Bank.”

Independent Bank President and CEO Michael McGee said the acquisition will solidify Independent’s No. 1 market share presence in Bay City and elevate the bank’s market share presence to No. 2 in Battle Creek and to No. 4 in Saginaw. Independent expects to inherit the existing customer base of the TCF branches it’s buying.  

“TCF made a strategic decision to exit those markets because they’re more focused on larger urban demographics,” said Independent Bank CFO Robert Shuster. “Most of our footprint is in medium to small markets, so these branches are a good fit for us. It helps our existing customers, too, because it gives them more locations to bank at.”

The 10 TCF branches employ about 100 part- and full-time people. Shuster said Independent Bank’s intent is to retain all employees across the 10 branches. Where TCF branches overlap with Independent’s existing offices, the company might decide to consolidate two physical locations and keep the branch that is the best facility and location for its customers,

“Any employees impacted by the combining of two offices would be reassigned. With the 100-plus offices in our system, we would be able to place people within a very short period of time,” he added.

Independent Bank has completed 13 acquisitions of bank and thrift companies and bank and thrift branches since 1990.

“The way these branch transactions work is that even though we are the purchaser, we end up getting money because we assume all these deposit liabilities, so the purchase price comes off what we assume,” Shuster explained. “We’re assuming roughly $230 million of deposits, so the purchase price comes off of that. We don’t have to really come up with cash; we’re getting cash.”

Independent Bank has been around since 1864. It has current total assets of more than $3 billion and more than 110 banking offices across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula through four state-chartered bank subsidiaries — Independent Bank, Independent Bank West Michigan, Independent Bank East Michigan and Independent Bank South Michigan. All its subsidiaries offer a full range of financial services, including commercial banking, mortgage lending, investments and title services.

TFC Bank is a subsidiary of TCF Financial Corp., a $14.3 billion financial holding company headquartered in Wayzata, Minn.    

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