Union Bank of Tyler County is regaining its independence.

The Middlebourne, W.Va., bank has operated as a subsidiary of Commercial Bancshares of Parkersburg, W.Va., since 1994. But in a complex, three-way deal, it is to be sold to a group of local investors this year for an undisclosed sum.

Union Bank, with $42 million of assets, will actually become a subsidiary of Wheeling, W.Va.-based Wesbanco Inc. next week, when Wesbanco completes its acquisition of Commercial. However, the Federal Reserve Board would approve that deal only on the condition that Wesbanco shed at least $35 million of deposits in Tyler County.

"We already have such a large concentration of deposits in that area," said Edward M. George, Wesbanco's president and chief executive officer.

The new owners of Union Bank would include the bank's chairman, Gary R. Davis, and its president, Timothy R. Aiken. Between 30 and 35 community members - many of whom were owners of the bank before it was sold to Commercial - would take stakes in Union Bank.

"Everyone is excited about this because we're bringing the community bank back to its roots," Mr. Aiken said.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the third quarter.

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