Associated Banc-Corp in Green Bay, Wis., has agreed to buy Bank Mutual in Brown Deer, Wis.

The $30 billion-asset Associated said in a press release Thursday that it will pay $482 million in stock for the $2.7 billion-asset Bank Mutual. The deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter, priced Bank Mutual at 160% of its tangible book value.

It would be Associated's first bank acquisition since it bought First National Bank of Hudson in June 2007.

Buying Milwaukee’s biggest bank “provides significant opportunity to increase our Wisconsin presence and improve the scale of our operations,” Philip Flynn, Associated’s CEO, said in the release. “Ultimately, this positions us to gain efficiencies while also making investments to better support the customer experience.”

Philip Flynn, CEO of Associated Banc-Corp
Associated Banc-Corp, led by CEO Philip Flynn, has announced its first bank acquisition in more than a decade.

Associated said it would gain more than 120,000 customer accounts and nearly 1,000 commercial relationships from the acquisition.

David Baumgarten, Bank Mutual’s president and CEO, would become a consultant to Flynn and be responsible for client retention and employee engagement. Michael Crowley Jr., Bank Mutual’s chairman, is to join Associated’s board.

Associated said it expects the acquisition to be accretive to its 2019 earnings per share, excluding about $40 million of one-time charges. The company said it should take about three and a half years to earn back tangible book value dilution of less than 1%.

Associated said it plans to cut about 45% of Bank Mutual’s annual noninterest expenses. Half of Bank Mutual’s branches are within a mile of an Associated location.

Goldman Sachs and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen, & Katz advised Associated. RBC Capital Markets and Quarles & Brady advised Bank Mutual.

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