Citizens Banking Corp. plans to add to its Michigan presence with the acquisition of Jackson-based CB Financial Corp. in a deal valued at $129 million.
Citizens, $3.5 billion in assets, has agreed to pay about 1.7 times book value-or 15 times estimated 1997 earnings. The acquisition, announced Jan. 27, would give Citizens added locations in northwestern and south central Michigan. CB Financial has $826 million in assets and is primarily a community retail and commercial bank. The deal is expected to close in June.
Michael Moran, an analyst with Roney & Co. in Detroit, said Citizens paid a fair price for CB Financial, which struggled over the past couple of years containing costs.
The deal is good for CB Financial, too, he said. Citizens, a growth- minded community bank with offices throughout Michigan, could be a takeover candidate itself, he said.
Mr. Moran said the deal to buy CB Financial makes sense because there's a common philosophy among the two companies of serving small markets. Citizens is better than CB Financial at controlling costs, he said. "Even in slow-growth markets, if they focus on efficiencies, they can do well," Mr. Moran.