White Rock Bank SoldCannon Falls-based White Rock Bank was sold Tuesday to a holding company representing a group of southern Minnesota banks.
By: Mike Longaecker, The Republican Eagle
Cannon Falls-based White Rock Bank was sold Tuesday to a holding company representing a group of southern Minnesota banks.
Officials inked a purchase agreement between White Rock's parent company, BancMidwest Corp., and 215 Holding Co. of Minneapolis.
Under the agreement, the White Rock Bank name will go away and the institution's offices become branches of First Farmers & Merchants Banks, a group of southern Minnesota banks owned by the holding company.
"I am thrilled with this merger," First Farmers & Merchants President Greg Wulf said through a press release announcing the sale. "I have long competed against the White Rock Bank team in Cannon Falls and look forward to working with them in the future."
215 Holding Co. CEO Brian Short said the name change will not go into effect until late summer, when he said the transaction is expected to be approved by regulators.
Established in 1915, White Rock Bank has approximately $150 million in total assets, according to the press release. The bank has branches in Red Wing, Goodhue, Bellechester and White Rock.
Brett Elford, White Rock Bank president, said the bank was not in financial difficulty, but was facing capital-related issues.
"With the merger, that solves the capital issues," he said.
Short said undercapitalization problems at White Rock prompted acquisition talks with BancMidwest officials. He concurred with Elford's assessment.
"This eliminates that problem," Short said. "We operate very well-capitalized banks."
White Rock employees were notified of the sale Tuesday evening.
Short said the only anticipated staffing issues could be in Cannon Falls, where White Rock has two locations and First Farmers & Merchants has one office.
He said officials would be looking to consolidate into two Cannon Falls offices.
According to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation information, 215 Holding Co. has more than $430 million in assets.
First Farmers & Merchants operates banks in Mower, Martin, Le Sueur and Rock counties. The group's financial services include agriculture and industry, according to the release.
The acquisition means White Rock will part ways with BancMidwest Corporation. White Rock Bank represented BancMidwest's only remaining holding, according to FDIC records.
Minnesota's Department of Commerce in August 2009 shut down one of BancMidwest's former holdings, Forest Lake, Minn.-based MainStreet Bank.