Bank makes acquisition
A pair of community banks in the region are uniting to create an institution with about $440 million in assets.
Ludington-based West Shore Bank and Frankfort-based West Michigan Bank & Trust, or WMBT, said yesterday that they’ve signed a definitive agreement for WMBT to be consolidated into West Shore Bank.
Upon the closing of the definitive agreement, the two banks will operate as a single entity under the West Shore Bank brand.
WMBT shareholders will receive about $3.8 million in aggregate cash payment by West Shore Bank and about $4.5 million in pre-consolidation special cash dividends by WMBT for a total compensation of about $8.3 million.
The consolidation agreement has been approved by the board of directors at both banks.
The transaction is expected to be completed by the second half of 2016, depending on regulatory and WMBT shareholder approval.
The deal is a strategic move that will expand West Shore Bank’s presence to a fifth county in the region, add trust services to an existing portfolio of commercial, retail and wealth management services and also improve operating and financial performance.
“Together, we will service the West Michigan market with the same personal touch and accessibility that we do today, all while providing a broader range of products and services and increased lending capabilities,” said Douglas Cook, president and CEO, WMBT.
Cook said the deal will bring together two community banks with a long and proud history of serving customers as well as financial strength.
“We are confident that West Shore Bank is the right partner for us,” Cook said. “They understand the value we place on the customer experience and have the infrastructure that will help us continue to grow.”
“Employees at both banks have a track record of providing outstanding customer service and being actively involved in the communities we serve,” Biggs said. “We have a combined leadership team in place that will ensure our customers have the progressive products, services and technology that meets the demands of today’s banking environment.”
Upon consolidation, Cook will serve as SVP/market leader and trust officer of the expanded bank.
Biggs will continue serving in his leadership position as president and CEO.