First Bank to merge with Mercantile Bank

Firstbank 8-16-13Mercantile Bank and Firstbank announced today that the two are merging to create a new organization that will be the third-largest Michigan-based bank overall and the leading Michigan-owned bank in the central and western part of the state. The combined organization will be a larger and stronger company, offer customers more resources and be a leading regional, Michigan-based bank. The combined organization will have: $2.9 billion in total assets, $2.4 billion in total deposits, and 54 branches statewide.

The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by the board of directors of each company.  The companies expect to consummate the transaction by December 31, 2013, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory and shareholders approvals.

Based on financial results as of June 30, 2013, the combined company would have total assets of $2.8 billion, deposits of $2.3 billion and loans of $2.0 billion.  The merger is expected to create the third largest bank headquartered in Michigan by market capitalization and by deposit market share.  In addition, the combined company will have a more robust offering of products and services, an enhanced retail delivery system with 53 branches statewide, a more diversified loan portfolio and greater origination capabilities.

“I am extremely pleased to announce the combination of these two great Michigan community banks,” said Michael Price, Chief Executive Officer of Mercantile.  “This is an exciting opportunity for our customers, our shareholders and our employees to create the premier Michigan community banking franchise.”

Thomas Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of Firstbank, added: “We are very excited to become partners with Mercantile, as our similar cultures and complementary geographies and service strengths make this transaction a natural fit.  We see great opportunity in combining to create a bank with enormous potential for future success.”

The combined company’s leadership team will be comprised of executives from both organizations.  Michael Price will serve as the President and Chief Executive Officer, with Robert Kaminski and Charles Christmas from Mercantile, along with Thomas Sullivan and Samuel Stone from Firstbank completing the executive team.  Additionally, the board of directors will be comprised equally of Mercantile and Firstbank directors.  Thomas Sullivan will serve as chairman of the board for a period of one year and Michael Price will become chairman of the board thereafter.  The combined company will use the Mercantile name and the corporate headquarters will be in Grand Rapids.

Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Mercantile Bank Corporation is the bank holding company for Mercantile Bank of Michigan.  Founded in 1997 to provide banking services to businesses, individuals and governmental units, the Bank differentiates itself on the basis of service quality and the expertise of its banking staff.  Mercantile has seven full-service banking offices in Grand Rapids, Holland and Lansing, Michigan.

Firstbank Corporation, headquartered in Alma, Michigan, is a bank holding company using a community bank local decision-making format with assets of $1.5 billion and 46 banking offices, including Clare, serving Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

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