Coronavirus fallout leads Wisconsin banks to terminate merger

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Nicolet Bankshares in Green Bay, Wis., and Commerce Financial Holdings in West Bend, Wis., have terminated their planned $130 million merger.

The companies said in a press release Monday that the merger agreement had a clause that allowed either one of them to cancel the deal if the $3.7 billion-asset Nicolet’s stock price was below $62 a share at the time set for closing.

Nicolet had recently indicated it would exercise its right to terminate the agreement under that circumstance. The company’s stock closed Monday at $53.89 a share; its stock hasn’t traded above $60 in more than two months.

The companies noted that fallout from the coronavirus outbreak played a major role in the decision.

“Rather than continuing to pursue and plan for a transaction that is unlikely to close, the parties believe it is in the best interests of … shareholders, customers and employees to mutually agree to terminate” the agreement, the companies said in the release.

Nicolet agreed pay $500,000 to the $729 million-asset Commerce and surrender 4,000 shares of Commerce common stock it holds.

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