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April Acquisitions: Vystar CU, High Point, Pacific Western

The end of Q1 and start of Q2 has brought a flurry of activity in banking M&A

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April Acquisitions: Vystar CU, High Point, Pacific Western

The start of April has brought a flurry of merger and acquisition activity in the US banking sector.

Florida’s VyStar Credit Union plans to acquire Heritage Southeast Bank (HSB), a state-chartered bank headquartered in Jonesboro, Georgia.

VyStar president and CEO Brian Wolfburg said his company had made “an ongoing strategic commitment to search for partnerships that help us bring the benefits of credit union membership to more people while reinforcing our position as a strong and reliable financial institution with better rates and lower fees for all our members”.

HSB was an “optimal partner” to expand VyStar’s footprint, he added.

The deal – which is expected to close later this year subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals – will boost VyStar’s assets to approximately $12.5 billion and its branch network to 88. Following completion, VyStar stands to become the 13th-largest credit union in the country by asset size.

Illinois-based High Point Financial Services, parent company of Solutions Bank, is to acquire Durand Bancorp and its subsidiary bank Durand State Bank in an all-cash transaction.

The price was not disclosed, but the acquisition will increase Solutions Bank’s asset base to $470 million.

Kathy Sutherland, president and CEO of Durand Bancorp, said: “We believe this combination will better align our resources, enhance our financial strength, and expand our product offerings and technology solutions, all of which will allow us to even better-serve our customers and communities.”

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and the approval of Durand’s shareholders. It is expected to complete in Q3 2021.

California-based Pacific Western Bank is to acquire MUFG Union Bank’s $4 billion Homeowners Association Services Division, the companies announced last week. The division serves community management companies and their homeowners associations (HOA).

Pacific Western said the acquisition would “significantly expand” its existing HOA banking practice. It will bring on board assets and liabilities from MUFG Union Bank for a premium of 5.9% on deposits, paying approximately $250 million in total.

Matt Wagner, PacWest’s president and CEO, said the acquisition would “significantly enhance our position catering to the specialized banking needs of community management companies and the HOA clients they serve”.

The acquisition is expected to complete by the end of this year.

Pennsylvania-based Northwest Bank has signed a definitive agreement to sell its insurance business, Northwest Insurance Services, to USI Insurance Services.

USI – one of the largest insurance brokers in the world – is expected to complete the transaction in the second quarter of this year.

Northwest Insurance Services offers property and casualty, life, disability and long-term care insurance, as well as group health, life and disability employee benefits.

Virginia National Bankshares Corporation has completed its merger with Fauquier Bankshares. Immediately following completion the two subsidiary banks, Virginia National Bank and Fauquier Bank, have merged, with the former brand surviving.

Based on data as of December 31, 2020, Virginia National has approximately $1.7 billion in total assets and $1.5 billion in total deposits.

Former president and CEO of Fauquier Marc Bogan has been appointed to the same roles at Virginia National Bank. He said: “We are excited to continue Fauquier’s legacy of excellence in customer service and community-focused approach as we join forces with Virginia National. Our combined resources and enhanced branch network will allow us to better serve the needs of our customers and community.”

Finally, fintech service provider WEX has completed the purchase of health savings accounts from HealthcareBank. HealthcareBank acts as custodian for WEX’s health division. The deal, announced in February, will see WEX pay $200 million up front plus two additional $25 million payments in 2023 and 2024.

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