Peoples Bancorp, Premier Financial Bancorp announce definitive merger agreement
MARIETTA — Peoples Bancorp Inc. and Premier Financial Bancorp, Inc. have signed a definitive agreement and plan of merger for Peoples to acquire, in an all-stock merger, Premier, a bank holding company headquartered in Huntington, West Virginia.
Premier is the parent company of Premier Bank, Inc. and Citizens Deposit Bank & Trust, Inc.
Under the terms of the agreement, Premier will merge into Peoples, and Premier Bank and Citizens will subsequently merge with and into Peoples' wholly owned subsidiary, Peoples Bank, in a transaction valued at approximately $292.3 million.
"We are excited about our partnership with Premier and the addition of significant scale to enhance our ability to drive future growth and improved profitability,” said Chuck Sulerzyski, president and CEO of Peoples. “Premier's strong core franchise provides a natural extension of our existing markets, as well as entry into attractive markets within Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C."
Upon completion of the merger, the combined company will have approximately $6.7 billion in total assets, $4.6 billion in total loans and $5.5 billion in total deposits with 136 locations in Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Through its community bank subsidiaries, Premier operates 48 branches in 38 communities. As of Dec. 31, 2020, Premier had $1.9 billion in total assets.
"Over the years, we have successfully expanded our West Virginia and Kentucky footprint,” said Sulerzyski. “We look forward to welcoming Premier shareholders, employees and customers to become part of our team, and we are ecstatic to offer additional locations to new and existing Peoples Bank clients."
Premier President and CEO Bob Walker said the bank is excited to have the opportunity to join forces with one of the strongest banks in the region.
“Our customers, employees and shareholders will benefit from Peoples' history of profitable growth and expertise in successfully executing acquisitions,” said Walker. “We are also excited about Peoples' expansive suite of products, which will provide us the ability to deliver new products and services, including insurance and investment products, to our valued customers in the communities we serve."
According to the terms of the merger agreement unanimously approved by the boards of both companies, shareholders of Premier will receive 0.58 shares of Peoples common stock for each share of Premier common stock.
The merger is expected to qualify as a tax-free reorganization for Premier shareholders.
The acquisition is expected to close during the third quarter of 2021, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions including regulatory approvals and the approval of the shareholders of Peoples and Premier.
At that time, Premier's offices will become branches of Peoples Bank.