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Wintrust to Acquire Branch of THE National Bank

Zacks Equity Research

Rosemont, IL-based Wintrust Financial Corporation (WTFC) declared the inking of a definitive agreement to acquire the Pewaukee, Wisconsin branch of THE National Bank. Wintrust will execute this deal through its wholly owned WI-based subsidiary, Town Bank. As per the deal, Town Bank will take over performing loans of nearly $90 million, deposits worth $40 million, THE National Bank’s bank facility and various other assets.

THE National Bank has been in operation since 2001 and is currently a subsidiary of Triumph Bancorp, Inc., a financial holding company headquartered in Dallas, TX. Its business mainly involves commercial and community banking. Wintrust’s integration of the Pewaukee, Wisconsin branch of THE National Bank will expand its presence in the western suburbs of Milwaukee. THE National Bank’s niche as a community bank franchise will also complement the products and service offerings of Wintrust.
Since its inception in 1991, Wintrust has pursued various acquisitions of banks or thrifts, branch of banks or thrifts, government-assisted deals, securities and investment deals as well as specialty finance company deals. In this context, the company’s latest move fits in with its M&A strategies.

The terms and conditions of this aforementioned deal have not been made public. Moreover, the agreement is subject to fulfillment of certain banking regulations and other customary criteria. The transaction is expected to close by third-quarter 2014 and will not impact Wintrust’s earnings per share in the near term.

This is not Wintrust’s first acquisition deal this year. In Feb 2014, the company had acquired a branch of EB Financial Group, Inc., through its IL-based subsidiary, Lake Forest Bank & Trust Company. Deposits of $23 million were transferred as part of this deal.

At present, Wintrust carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some other stocks in the same sector worth considering include Peoples Bancorp Inc. (PEBO), Associated Banc-Corp (ASBC) and Chemical Financial Corp. (CHFC). While Peoples Bancorp sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Associated Banc-Corp and Chemical Financial Corporation have the same Zacks Rank as Wintrust.

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