Associated buying dozens of Wisconsin branches from Huntington

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Associated Banc-Corp in Green Bay, Wis., has agreed to buy the Wisconsin operations of Huntington Bancshares in Columbus, Ohio.

The $33 billion-asset Associated said in a press release Tuesday that it will buy 32 branches, $134 million in loans and $850 million in deposits. Associated will pay a 4% deposit premium, or roughly $34 million in cash.

The deal, which is expected to close in the second quarter, is not expected to have a material impact on Associated's 2019 financial results. The company said the acquisition should be at least 2% accretive in 2020.

It should take about four years to earn back the expected 1.5% dilution to Associated’s tangible book value.

Associated said it is gaining 60,000 deposit accounts, including 33,000 households.

"We are excited for the opportunity to welcome Huntington's Wisconsin customers … as we strengthen our franchise and expand services into 13 additional communities," Philip Flynn, Associated’s president and CEO, said in the release.

"Ultimately, the scale and efficiencies we gain will position us to make investments to further enhance the customer experience and deliver increased value to our customers, colleagues, communities and shareholders," Flynn added.

Huntington, which gained the Wisconsin branches after it bought FirstMerit in 2016, said in a regulatory filing that it will retain its national consumer and commercial businesses that are in the state, including its Small Business Administration operations.

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