Banking & Finance and Lakeshore

Bank makes $184M acquisition

January 6, 2015
| By Pete Daly |
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Bank makes $26M acquisition
Detroit-based Chemical Bank operates branches across Michigan, including downtown Benton Harbor. Photo via

One of the largest and fastest-growing bank corporations based in Michigan is acquiring one of West Michigan’s youngest bank corporations.

The deal

Chemical Financial Corp. of Midland (Nasdaq: CHFC) said today that it has agreed to acquire Lake Michigan Financial Corp. of Grand Rapids, or LMFC, for approximately $184 million in cash and common stock.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions, including approval by Lake Michigan Financial shareholders.

The transaction should close in the second half of 2015. 

The deal is expected to increase Chemical Financial’s earnings per share by 10 percent in the first full year.


Chemical Financial is the second-largest banking company headquartered in Michigan and operates 178 Chemical Bank offices in 46 counties.

With the addition of LMFC and the November acquisition of Monarch Community Bancorp in Coldwater, Chemical Financial now has a total of $8.9 billion in assets.

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan Financial, which is privately held, owns The Bank of Holland, which has branches in Holland, Grand Haven and Grand Rapids, and The Bank of Northern Michigan, which has offices in Petoskey and Traverse City.

LMFC was formed in 1998 by Rich Lievense. It opened The Bank of Holland in 1998 and The Bank of Northern Michigan in Petoskey in 2000.

As of September, LMFC had total assets of $1.2 billion.

"In-market" advantages

“We have long admired Rich Lievense, Garth Deur and the talented Lake Michigan Financial team and are excited that they will be part of the Chemical family going forward," said David Ramaker, chairman, CEO and president, Chemical Financial Corp. " These are consummate professionals — relationship bankers whose values, high-performance track record and community orientation mirror those of Chemical. In addition to a strong cultural fit, the partnership will add scale, entrepreneurial talent and important in-market competitive advantages to facilitate Chemical’s continued growth. This is a terrific transaction for all stakeholders involved.”

Deur, president and CEO of LMFC, said the organization is "truly pleased with the opportunity to join the Chemical family."

"This partnership pairs two like-minded companies that have consistent core community-banking philosophies and cultures,” he said.


Chemical was advised by the investment banking firm Keefe, Bruyette & Woods and the law firm Warner Norcross & Judd.

Lake Michigan Financial was advised by the investment banking firm Sandler O'Neill & Partners and the law firm Varnum

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