First Mid­west makes deal to buy Bridgeview Bank

Merger val­ued at $145M ex­pected to close in Q2 of 2019

Chicago Tribune - - BUSINESS - By Robert Chan­nick rchan­[email protected]­ Twit­ter @RobertChan­nick

First Mid­west Bank is con­tin­u­ing to ex­pand its reach in Chicago with an agree­ment to buy Bridgeview Bank in a cash and stock deal val­ued at $145 mil­lion.

The merger, an­nounced late Thurs­day, adds Bridgeview Bank’s $1.2 bil­lion in as­sets and a stronger pres­ence in Chicago with 13 branches, in­clud­ing five on the city’s North Side. The trans­ac­tion is ex­pected to close in the sec­ond quar­ter of 2019, pend­ing reg­u­la­tory and share­holder ap­proval.

As part of the deal, the Bridgeview name will go away, but most if not all of its branches will re­main open un­der the First Mid­west ban­ner.

“We’re try­ing to ex­pand within the broader Chicago mar­ket­place and con­tinue to lever­age the mo­men­tum we’ve built there,” Michael Scud­der, chair­man, pres­i­dent and CEO of Itasca-based First Mid­west Ban­corp, said Fri­day. “As we looked at part­ner­ing with Bridgeview, we saw some­body who was very cul­tur­ally sim­i­lar … and strate­gi­cally, it helped fill in some dis­tri­bu­tion gaps in the First Mid­west fran­chise.”

Bridgeview Bank, which was founded in 1971 in the south sub­urbs, is a com­mu­nity bank with a per­sonal and small busi­ness fo­cus. In ad­di­tion to sub­ur­ban lo­ca­tions, it has branches in the Edge­wa­ter, Lin­coln Park, Lin­coln Square and Up­town com­mu­nity ar­eas in Chicago.

“Our clients will con­tinue to have the highly per­son­al­ized ser­vice they have come to ex­pect from Bridgeview Bank, now with the added ben­e­fit of a broader range of prod­ucts and ser­vices com­bined with larger scale,” Peter Haleas, chair­man of Bridgeview Bank Group, said in a news re­lease.

While the Bridgeview name will dis­ap­pear, most of its lo­ca­tions rep­re­sent new turf for First Mid­west, and will likely re­main open af­ter the deal closes, Scud­der said. “We haven’t made those de­ci­sions yet, but the level of over­lap is mar­ginal,” he said. “I would not an­tic­i­pate sig­nif­i­cant branch change.”

First Mid­west, which has $15 bil­lion in as­sets and more than 100 branches in Chicago and the sub­urbs, has been on a buy­ing spree in re­cent years. In Oc­to­ber, the bank com­pleted its ac­qui­si­tion of Waukegan­based NorS­tates Bank, adding about $550 mil­lion in as­sets and eight branches in Lake County. The all-stock deal was val­ued at about $83 mil­lion at closing.

Founded in 1940 in Joliet, First Mid­west be­came a pub­licly traded com­pany in 1983.

PHIL VELASQUEZ/CHICAGO TRI­BUNE 2009 With its new deal, First Mid­west Bank will gain 13 branches, in­clud­ing one in Chicago’s Up­town com­mu­nity.

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