NBT Bancorp Inc., which suffered a minor upset last fall in its aggressive strategy to grow through acquisitions, is once again a buyer in upstate New York.
The $2.6 billion-asset company said Tuesday that it would buy CNB Financial Corp. in Canajoharie for $140 million in stock. The acquisition is the companys second bank deal announced this year and would bring it $964 million of assets. The deal would boost Norwich, N.Y-based NBTs presence to 112 branches in central and northern New York and northeastern Pennsylvania, and $3.6 billion of assets.
CNB, the parent of Central National Bank, has 29 branches in nine upstate New York counties. The acquisition would give NBT the chance to grow fee income and enhance CNBs commercial lending portfolio, said NBTs president and chief executive officer, Daryl R. Forsythe.
There certainly is some developing opportunity for fee income with their bank, he said. We believe that with their market and our lending expertise, we can help them increase their lending penetration, especially on the commercial side.
Though the companies have discussed teaming up for several years, it wasnt until recently that the timing was right, Mr. Forsythe said. Like several other banks that have announced deals in the past couple of weeks, NBT was up against a June 30 deadline, when any deals using the pooling of interest method of accounting must be initiated.
We were anxious to get it consummated by the end of pooling, he said, adding that the method was certainly a preferred way to structure the purchase.
CNB shareholders would receive 1.2 shares of NBT stock, the equivalent of 2.1 times CNBs book value. CNB stock was up 27% from Mondays close, to $17.50. NBT closed at $15.15, down 0.66%
The deal, expected to close in the fourth quarter, is consistent with NBTs strategy to build market share in upstate New York and northeast Pennsylvania.
Earlier this month it acquired First National Bancorp Inc. of Norfolk, N.Y., which has six branches in northwestern New York. And last year NBT acquired LA Bank and Pioneer American Bank, both of Pennsylvania, and merged them with eight branches it had recently acquired, to form Pennstar Bank.
The grand plan was dealt a blow in October, when NBTs agreement to buy $2.3 billion-asset BSB Bancorp in Binghamton, N.Y., fell through due to problem loans at BSB.