Minnetonka-based The Business Bank Sold to Bell State

Minnetonka-based The Business Bank Sold to Bell State

Bell State Bank & Trust’s parent company is acquiring Minnetonka-based The Business Bank and its mortgage division; together, the two companies originated nearly $3 billion in mortgages last year.

State Bankshares—the parent company of Fargo-based Bell State Bank & Trust, which has been expanding in the Twin Cities—said Tuesday that it has agreed to acquire Minnetonka-based The Business Bank and its Prime Mortgage division.

Bell State Bank & Trust, formerly called State Bank & Trust, entered the Twin Cities market in 2011 when it acquired Bell Mortgage, a 130-year-old Minneapolis-based mortgage company. It changed its name last May to capitalize on the brand recognition of the Bell name in the local market.

Financial terms of the acquisition, which is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval, were not disclosed. Bell State Bank & Trust President Michael Solberg told Twin Cities Business Tuesday afternoon that he doesn't expect layoffs to result from the deal, which he expects will close during the first quarter. The Business Bank and Prime Mortgage will likely continue to operate under their current names until next fall to allow for integration of the businesses, he added.

Bell Mortgage and Prime Mortgage are longtime competitors. Combined, they originated nearly $3 billion in mortgages last year, according to Bell State Bank & Trust. Bell Mortgage accounted for about $1.6 billion of that sum, according to Solberg.

“We are excited about this new partnership,” Brad Krohn, CEO of The Business Bank, said in a statement. “The cultures and philosophies of Bell State Bank & Trust and The Business Bank and Prime Mortgage are remarkably similar, and we look forward to a smooth transition for our teams. We plan to continue to deliver the highest standard of customer service and value, now combined with the size and strength of Bell State Bank & Trust.”

Solberg said in a statement that the deal will “create an even more powerful banking and mortgage presence in the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota.”

Bell State Bank & Trust has assets totaling more than $2.5 billion. It employs more than 750 people at 17 full-service banking locations in North Dakota and Minnesota, trust offices in North Dakota and Idaho, and Bell Mortgage locations in Minnesota and Arizona.

The Business Bank, meanwhile, had $228.6 million in assets as of September 30, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. It acquired Prime Mortgage in 2007, and today the company employs more than 200 people at 15 offices in Minnesota and Florida.