AnchorBank to be acquired by Old National for $461 million

Transaction expected to close in second quarter

Old National Bank
The Old National Bank headquarters in Evansville, Indiana.

Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin Inc. plans to be acquired by Evansville, Ind.-based Old National Bancorp for about $461 million. The stock and cash transaction is expected to close in the second quarter.

Old National Bank
The Old National Bank headquarters in Evansville, Ind.

Madison-based Anchor operates AnchorBank fsb, which has 46 branches, including seven in southeastern Wisconsin. It is the third largest bank headquartered in Wisconsin. It has $2.2 billion in assets, $1.5 billion in loans, $1.8 billion in deposits and about 570 employees.

Old National Bancorp, the parent company of Old National Bank, has $11.9 billion in total assets and about 2,750 employees at 160 branches. It is the largest financial services holding company headquartered in Indiana.

Through the transaction agreement, Anchor shareholders can either receive 3.5505 shares of Old National common stock or $48.50 in cash for each of their outstanding shares. No more than 40 percent of outstanding shares may be paid out.

All Anchor employees will become Old National employees, the company said, “however, any major decisions involving post-conversion roles and positions for current AnchorBank employees will be determined in the near future.”

Both boards of directors have approved the acquisition, but it is still subject to Anchor shareholder vote and regulatory approval.

Old National described the AnchorBank markets as some of the most attractive in the Midwest, making the acquisition a good strategic fit. Anchor said it doesn’t anticipate making any changes to the branch network. It also pointed out the Anchor team’s successful turnaround of the bank, returning it to profitability.

“This partnership, which marks Old National’s entry into the great state of Wisconsin, is a natural extension of our franchise and our growth strategy,” said Bob Jones, president and chief executive officer at Old National. “Not only does it position Old National in strong, vibrant markets with proven growth potential, it also represents an exceptional cultural fit and an opportunity to continue the strong legacy of service that distinguishes AnchorBank.”

“Today’s transaction is a culmination of the tremendous turnaround at Anchor and a win-win for our communities, customers, employees and shareholders,” said Chris Bauer, president and CEO at AnchorBank. “Old National Bank has a strong history of growth and a deep commitment to providing high-quality community banking and a rewarding workplace for its employees. We’re proud to become their newest partner and believe the legacy of AnchorBank’s community-based customer service will continue moving forward.”

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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