Bremer Financial Corp. in St. Paul is postponing its acquisition of Northwest Equity Corp. of Amery, Wis., until next year because it has been focused on an earlier deal for Dean Financial Services Inc.

Bremer, a $3.8 billion-asset company, had expected to close on the $19.8 million Northwest deal in the current quarter.

The two companies now expect to complete the deal by March 31. But a provision in Bremer and Northwest's amended merger agreement lets either party postpone the closing until April 30 if regulatory delays arise.

Bremer on July 8 gained regulatory approval to buy Dean, a St. Paul holding company with $312 million of assets and four community banks.

Bremer wanted to focus on gaining approval for that deal before starting the Northwest application process, said Troy Beaver, Bremer's senior vice president and director of marketing.

Northwest Equity is the $93.6 million-asset holding company for Northwest Savings Bank.

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