MN Bank Acquires 3 New Branches

Merchants Bank has finalized the purchase of two new Minnesota branch locations and is planning further expansion into Wisconsin early next year.

Within the past several days, Winona-based Merchants Bank acquired two Associated Bank branches in Minnesota and announced plans to buy an Alliance Bank location in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, for an undisclosed sum.
Merchants has 19 locations in Minnesota and, after the purchase of an Alliance Bank location in Eau Claire, it will have two in Wisconsin.
Merchants Financial Group, Inc., President and CEO Richard Mahoney said he anticipates the Eau Claire acquisition to be completed near the middle of February, pending regulatory approval.
The purchase includes the Alliance Bank building on Mall Drive in Eau Claire, as well as deposits and loans from the location on Pinnacle Way, totaling about $48 million in deposits and $17 million in loans.
“We believe this is an excellent opportunity to expand into an important market,” said Mahoney. “We believe that our expertise in business banking and company resources will be appealing to business owners in the Eau Claire area.”
The acquisition comes just four days after Merchants completed its purchase of two Associated Bank locations in Minnesota for an undisclosed sum. Between the two locations, Merchants acquired $47 million in deposits and about $11 million in loans from Associated.
Merchants has acquired 14 of its 20 locations since its founding in 1875. Vice President Mary Gordon told Twin Cities Business that, prior to 2013, the bank purchased its Rosemount branch in 2011, its Spring Grove branch in 2010, and its Cottage Grove branch in 2009.
Although Gordon said the company doesn’t have any specific locations in mind for additional acquisitions, she said the bank will continue to assess growth opportunities as they become available.
“Our strong equity position allows us to act on opportunities that make sense for us to pursue,” Mahoney said. “With our organic growth and acquisitions, we expect continued growth for the foreseeable future.”
Merchants Bank has $1.35 billion in assets and its Minnesota locations include: Rushford, Lanesboro, St. Charles, Goodview, two in Winona, Caledonia, two in Rochester, La Crescent, Spring Grove, Cannon Falls, Red Wing, Hampton, Apple Valley, Cottage Grove, Hastings, Rosemount, and Lakeville. It also operates a branch in Onalaska, Wisconsin. The Merchants Financial Group is made up of its employees and about 400 shareholders.