West Shore Bank to acquire West Michigan Bank & Trust.

April 14, 2016

west shore bankBy Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — West Shore Bank has announced that it is consolidating and taking over West Michigan Bank & Trust. The two banks jointly announced today that  a definitive consolidation agreement has been signed with the Mason County-based West Shore Bank as the surviving institution. Following the closing of the transaction, the consolidated bank will operate under the West Shore Bank brand.   

Transaction consideration to West Michigan Bank & Trust (WMBT) shareholders will consist of all cash in an aggregate amount of approximately $8.3 million, consisting of an aggregate cash payment by West Shore Bank to WMBT shareholders of approximately $3.8 million and a pre-consolidation special cash dividend by WMBT to WMBT shareholders in an aggregate amount of approximately $4.5 million.  Total asset size of West Shore Bank following the completion of the consolidation will be approximately $440 million. West Shore Bank is a wholly-owned banking subsidiary of West Shore Bank Corporation.

“We are confident that West Shore Bank is the right partner for us,” said Douglas Cook, president and CEO of the Frankfort, Michigan-based WMBT. “They understand the value we place on the customer experience and have the infrastructure that will help us continue to grow. This consolidation will bring together two community banks with a long and proud history of serving customers as well as financial strength. Together we will service the west Michigan market with the same personal touch and accessibility that we do today, all while providing a broader range of products and services and increased lending capabilities.”

“Employees at both banks have a track record of providing outstanding customer service and being actively involved in the communities we serve,” said Raymond A. Biggs, president & CEO of West Shore Bank. “We look forward to welcoming West Michigan Bank & Trust and its customers to the West Shore Bank family. We have a combined leadership team in place that will ensure our customers have the progressive products, services and technology that meet the demands of today’s banking environment. We anticipate a smooth transition.”

According to a press release, from a strategic perspective, the combination of West Shore Bank and West Michigan Bank & Trust provides many opportunities to both banks’ stakeholders, including:

  • Expansion of West Shore Bank’s presence to Benzie County, the fifth county in its west Michigan market.
  • A broader range of products and services, including WMBT’s trust services, which will augment both our commercial and retail banking and wealth management services.
  • Excellent credit quality from both institutions, which is the principal determinant of a bank’s ability to provide long-term shareholder value.
  • Expectations for improved operating and financial performance.

The transaction has been approved by the board of directors of each bank and is expected to close in the second half of 2016, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and West Michigan Bank & Trust shareholder approval.  Following completion of the transaction, Raymond A. Biggs will remain as president and CEO while Douglas D. Cook will become senior vice president/market Leader and trust officer of the combined company.

Founded in 1898 as State Savings Bank of Scottville, West Shore Bank is a locally owned community bank now based in Ludington with six retail branches and one commercial lending office located throughout Mason, Manistee, Oceana and Muskegon counties.

Originating in Frankfortn, West Michigan Bank & Trust was founded in 1983. The bank offers a full line of banking services, including trust services, with two branch locations (Frankfort and Manistee.)

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