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published on October 31, 2016 - 12:14 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff
Continuing an ongoing mergers-and-acquisitions trend involving local banks, Fresno-based Premier Valley Bank has announced plans to merge with Founders Community Bank in San Luis Obispo.

 

Iowa-based Heartland Financial USA Inc. merged with Premier Valley Bank last year in a $95 million deal, with Premier Valley Bank becoming a subsidiary of Heartland Financial. Now Heartland will acquire Founders Bancorp, parent company of Founders Community Bank, in a 70-percent stock and 30-percent cash transaction valued at about $29.1 million.

As part of the deal, shares of Founders Bancorp will be converted into cash, shares of Heartland common stock or a combination of both, at the election of Founders Bancorp shareholders.

Founders Community Bank’s four banking centers on the Central Coast will continue to operate under the Founders name, while a Premier Valley Bank branch currently under construction in San Luis Obispo will carry the Founders name.

The deal, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017, with systems conversion in the spring of 2017.

“We are growing our presence in California and we see the San Luis Obispo County market area as an economically strong and vibrant region,” said J. Mike McGowan, CEO of Premier Valley Bank, in a statement. “As one of the last remaining community banks serving San Luis Obispo County, Founders Community Bank is an excellent fit for our community banking business model. Both banks highly value local market knowledge, excellent customer service and deep roots in the community.”

Founders Community Bank was founded in 2005, and has about $199 million in total assets, $107 million in loans and $180 million in deposits as of Sept. 30. Its banking centers are located in San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles and Morro Bay, with a small business lending center in Atascadero.

Thomas J. Sherman, president and CEO of Founders Community Bank, stated, “As our board considered our strategic direction in today’s complex banking environment, especially the importance of identifying a potential quality merger partner, Premier Valley Bank, backed by the deep resources of Heartland, stood out as an exceptional opportunity for our customers, employees, community and shareholders. We are pleased to partner with a strong public company with an expanded array of products and services that’s committed to face-to-face customer service and locally-based community banking.”

With the merger’s close, Premier Valley Bank will have nine full-service branches and a loan production office in Central California.

Other local banks that have announced merger or acquisition plans in the last year include Valley Business Bank, Citizens Business Bank, Bank of the Sierra, Central Valley Community Bank, Suncrest Bank and Security First Bank


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