Amcore Financial Inc. has agreed to buy Baraboo Federal Bank, a 63- year-old Wisconsin thrift.

Rockford, Ill.-based Amcore would pay roughly $49 million in stock- nearly 2.5 times book value-for $207 million-asset Baraboo and its parent company, Midwest Federal Financial. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

"This is a great match for us and an excellent fill-in for the marketplace," said Robert J. Meuleman, president and chief executive officer of Amcore, a multibank holding company with 54 offices in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Baraboo Federal president and chief executive officer Gary E. Wegner said price was a key factor in the board's decision to accept Amcore's offer. But the offer likely would have been rejected, he added, if Amcore had planned to close any of Baraboo's nine branches or lay off employees.

However, Mr. Wegner may not be joining the Amcore team. While he said the Illinois company is leaving the decision up to him, Mr. Wegner said that after 29 years in banking he may be ready for something else.

"I may go fishing," he said.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.