Associated and Bank Mutual targeting Feb. 1 close

Expect headquarters and redundant branches to close this summer

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The completion of Associated Banc-Corp’s acquisition of Bank Mutual Corp. is expected to take place around Feb. 1, Bank Mutual chief executive officer David Baumgarten revealed today.

Bank Mutual headquarters
The Bank Mutual headquarters in Brown Deer.

Baumgarten also said Brown Deer-based Bank Mutual does not expect the 50 percent drop in its earnings in the fourth quarter to impact the transaction.

“Actually, the core earnings came in about where we thought they’d come in,” he said, pointing to a large one-time tax write-off related to the new federal tax law and merger-related expenses as the culprits. “Overall, relative to what we had presented to Associated, we came in right about where we said we would or even a little bit ahead.”

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As they prepare for the merger, Green Bay-based Associated and Bank Mutual have been allowing positions to go unfilled as employees leave the companies to limit the impact of layoffs. They expect to have the final layoff total figured out next week, Baumgarten said.

“We’re still working through the numbers, still working to do everything we can from both sides…to minimize the number of people impacted,” he said. “It really is a moving target right now.”

The banks expect Bank Mutual’s Brown Deer headquarters to remain operational and staffed until after the systems conversion, which they plan to complete in June or July.

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“Post-conversion, the people that are here will be moved to different locations within Associated and the building relatively soon after close will be put on the market for sale,” Baumgarten said, and he expects there to be plenty of interest in the property. “We have already had a number of phone calls from various people just inquiring about the status of the building.”

The closure of the 36 redundant branches the banks have identified will also take place after the conversion, and many of those are leased, Baumgarten said.

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