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Published: Friday, 6/21/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

Fremont bank to buy Oak Harbor institution

Croghan, Indebancorp to have $850M in assets

BLADE STAFF

FREMONT — Croghan Bancshares Inc., parent firm of Croghan Colonial Bank, said Friday it will acquire National Bank of Ohio and its holding company, Indebancorp of Oak Harbor, in a cash and stock deal worth approximately $28.9 million.

Croghan, with $631 million in assets and $530 million in deposits, said it expects the deal to close in the fourth quarter, pending regulatory and shareholder approvals. Once the transaction is completed, The Fremont bank would have $850 million in assets and $718 million in deposits.

“This is pretty exciting for us,” said Rick Robertson, president and chief executive officer of Croghan, which has 14 locations in northwest Ohio.

The acquisition is thought to be the largest financially for Croghan Bancshares, which was setup in 1984 to oversee Croghan Colonial, a 125-year-old Fremont bank.

“This is a pretty sizable one for us,” said Mr.Robertson, calling the deal good for both firms.

“One, just in the banking industry, there are certain efficiencies and capabilities that come with size, so it was important for us to become a little larger,” Mr. Robertson said. “Being near to the $1 billion figure in assets enables us to be optimally efficient.”

“And then, the geographic fit was substantial,” Mr. Robertson said.

National Bank of Ohio has branches in Oak Harbor, Port Clinton, Oregon, and Curtice, and loan offices in Perrysburg and Fremont. The deal helps Croghan move into Lucas County and expand in Ottawa and Wood counties. It already is in Sandusky, Huron, Seneca, and Erie counties.

“Plus, I would tell you that the balance sheets of the two organizations fit exceptionally well. Croghan Colonial has done an exceptional job of growing deposits while National Bank of Ohio had done an exceptional job of growing their loans,” Mr. Robertson said. “Both boards saw the value in combining.”

Indebancorp shareholders will get either $55 in cash, 1.63 shares of Croghan common stock, or a combination of 70 percent stock and 30 percent cash for each of their shares.

Approval is needed from each company's shareholders. Croghan has between 750 and 800 shareholders, while Indebancorp has between 400 and 450.

Croghan’s shares, which are traded publicly over the counter, rose 15 cents to close at $34.75 Friday. Indebancorp shares aren’t publicly traded but have been valued at between $42 and $43 per share.

Mr. Robertson said Croghan was comfortable offering a 28 percent premium of $55 per Indebancorp share. “It was a fair price. I think it’s a win-win for their shareholders,” he said.

Croghan Colonial and National Bank of Ohio recently received five-star “superior” ratings from BauerFinancial Inc., a bank ratings services in Coral Gables, Fla.



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