PrivateBancorp postpones merger vote

Bank stock surge impacts value

The PrivateBancorp Inc. shareholder vote on the company’s sale to Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce scheduled for Dec. 8 was postponed today because the value is less lucrative in the current banking stock environment.

PrivateBancorp announced the delay in a press release this morning and said the vote is expected to be rescheduled for early in the first quarter of 2017.

“Our board of directors and management team remain committed to this transaction and working with CIBC to obtain the required regulatory and shareholder approvals,” said James Guyette, chairman of the PrivateBancorp board. “In accordance with the recommendation of our special strategic opportunities committee comprised of independent directors, and with advice from independent legal and financial advisors, we have decided to postpone the vote on the CIBC merger. In view of the significant changes to trading market conditions over the past few weeks, we believe it is in the best interests of all of PrivateBancorp’s stockholders to have additional time to consider the value and long-term strategic benefits of this transaction.”

Chicago-based PrivateBancorp operates The PrivateBank, which has an office in downtown Milwaukee that the bank says will not be impacted by the transaction. A middle market commercial bank that also offers private banking and wealth management, PrivateBancorp has about $18 billion in assets. It has about 1,200 employees at 34 offices in 12 states.

CIBC has a global presence, with 11 million personal and business clients. It offers retail and business banking, wealth management and capital markets.

The acquisition would expand CIBC’s North American footprint and allow PrivateBancorp to continue growing under its current leadership, the companies said in a release.

The transaction, which is 60 percent stock and 40 percent cash, was expected to close in the first quarter of 2017, pending regulators’ and PrivateBancorp shareholders’ approval. It is not clear whether that timeline still applies. A spokesperson could not be reached for additional information.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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