Associated Bank acquiring Bank Mutual for almost $500 million

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

July 20, 2017

MILWAUKEE — Associated Banc-Corp announced Thursday it has agreed to purchase Bank Mutual Corporation for about $482 million, which will result in a merged company.

Bank Mutual’s bank subsidiary will also merge with and into Associated’s bank subsidiary, Associated Bank. It is an all-stock transaction valued at about $482 million, based on Associated’s Wednesday’s closing stock price of $24.60 per share.

Based in Green Bay, 156-year-old Associated Bank N.A. is the largest bank headquartered in Wisconsin. It serves more than one million customers in 100 communities across eight states. Based in Milwaukee, 125-year-old Bank Mutual is the holding company for the largest Milwaukee-based bank. It serves more than 120,000 customer accounts through banking locations in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

As a result of this transaction, Associated will strengthen its Wisconsin network and expand services into nearly a dozen additional communities.

“We have deep respect for Bank Mutual and its dedicated team of colleagues. Both of our organizations are built around customer-centric strategies and understand the importance of delivering increasing value to customers, colleagues, communities and shareholders,” said Associated president and CEO Philip B. Flynn in a statement. “The acquisition of Bank Mutual provides significant opportunity to increase our Wisconsin presence and improve the scale of our operations. Ultimately, this positions us to gain efficiencies while also making investments to better support the customer experience.”

Under the terms of the merger agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, Bank Mutual shareholders will receive 0.422 shares of Associated common stock for each share of Bank Mutual common stock.

Upon consummation of the merger, Bank Mutual president and CEO David Baumgarten will serve as a consultant to the CEO of Associated. In his new capacity, he will focus on client retention and employee engagement while also serving as an ambassador for the bank’s community involvement. Bank Mutual chairman Michael T. Crowley, Jr. will be appointed to the combined companies’ board of directors.