Ohio credit union to buy Cincinnati branch from United Fidelity Bank

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Superior Credit Union in Lima, Ohio, has agreed to buy a Cincinnati branch from United Fidelity Bank in Evansville, Ind.

Superior said in a press release Monday that the deal includes about $19 million in deposits and an undisclosed amount of assets. It is expected to close in the second quarter.

The announcement follows two recent deals in which credit unions are buying whole banks.

Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union in Lake Mary, Fla., said on Jan. 24 that it had agreed to acquire the $175 million-asset Fidelity Bank of Florida in Merritt Island. Earlier in the month, VyStar Credit Union in Jacksonville, Fla., said it was buying Citizens State Bank in Perry, Fla.

Last year nine credit union deals to buy banks were announced. Six credit unions announced deals to buy banks in 2017, though one of those would be called off.

Michael Bell, a lawyer at Howard & Howard in Royal Oak, Mich., who advised Superior, told American Banker the latest deal is another indication that credit unions have embraced acquisitions. He said he expects another credit union to announce a bank branch acquisition in the next 30 days.

“The pace of both kinds of deals — whole-bank buys and branch acquisitions — is picking up,” Bell said. “We’ve already seen two whole-bank deals since the start of the year and more are coming.”

The sale of United’s lone Cincinnati branch will allow the bank to more closely focus on its core markets, said Donald Neel, the bank’s president and CEO. Personnel working in the branch will be offered similar posts at Superior Credit Union.

Keefe, Bruyete & Woods and SmithAmundsen advised United.

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