Nicolet to buy bank near Milwaukee

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Nicolet Bankshares in Green Bay, Wis., has agreed to buy Commerce Financial Holdings in West Bend, Wis.

The $3.1 billion-asset Nicolet said in a press release Monday that it will pay $129.6 million in stock for the $708 million-asset Commerce. The deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter, priced Commerce at 190% of its tangible book value.

The exchange ratio can be reset if Nicolet’s stock price rises above $82 a share or falls below $62 a share.

“In each merger, we have purposefully found partners who focus on serving customers and the community,” Bob Atwell, Nicolet’s chairman and CEO, said in the release. “When we combine our resources and cultures, we can positively impact the community banking landscape of Wisconsin.”

Joe Fazio, Commerce’s CEO, will join Nicolet’s board. Tom Hopp, Commerce’s president, and Dave Borchardt, the company’s chief financial officer and chief operating officer, will join Nicolet’s bank.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner advised Nicolet. Hillworth Bank Partners and Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren advised Commerce.

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