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Farmers & Merchants, 1st Financial, SmartBank Lead M&A Activity

Farmer’s & Merchants Bancorp is to acquire Perpetual Federal Savings Bank of Urbana as the banking sector continues to see M&A activity

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  • Written by  Banking Exchange staff
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Farmers & Merchants, 1st Financial, SmartBank Lead M&A Activity

The US banking sector is continuing to experience a significant level of merger and acquisition activity as we head into the summer.

Farmer’s & Merchants Bancorp (F&M) has announced it will acquire Perpetual Federal Savings Bank (PFSB) in a deal worth approximately $103.7 million.

PFSB operates one branch in Urbana, Ohio, and will add $391 million in total assets, $326 million in loans, and $305 million in deposits to F&M’s balance sheet.

The acquisition will be F&M’s fourth in the past two years, said president and CEO Lars Eller. The latest addition would bring exposure to more Ohio markets and allow PFSB to offer “a wider range of financial services”, he added.

Elsewhere, SmartBank, the banking subsidiary of SmartFinancial, is to acquire Fountain Leasing, a specialty lending platform that offers construction equipment financing to small and medium sized businesses.

Following the transaction, SmartBank will rename Fountain as Fountain Equipment Finance, and plans to expand its services across its entire Tennessee, Alabama and Florida Panhandle footprint.

The company has confirmed that the current senior leadership team at Fountain will remain following the completion of the transaction.

Fountain’s remit will also extend to the cross-selling of insurance services to the new and existing client network, through its wholly owned subsidiary Rains Insurance Agency.

Finally, 1st Financial Bank USA has acquired specialist luxury vehicle leasing company Premier Financial Services (PFS).

1st Financial Bank USA provides credit cards, construction finance, rental investment property loans, and small business loans across the country, as well as a full range of banking services in its local communities.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Senior vice president James Hegyi said: “Our financial resources and capabilities as a bank, along with Premier's deep automotive knowledge and relationships in the exotic and vintage car market, will be a winning combination that benefits dealers as well as serious car enthusiasts.”

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