Bank expands financial acreage

CANFIELD — The latest acquisition by Farmers National Banc Corp. pushes the Canfield-based financial institution’s assets north of $5.2 billion, securing its position among the largest community banks in the state.

Announced Thursday, the cash and stock acquisition of Emclaire Financial Corp., the holding company for The Farmers National Bank of Emlenton, Pa., is the largest merger undertaken by Farmers of Canfield when measured by banking assets, said Kevin J. Helmick, president / CEO of Farmers of Canfield.

The move also gives Farmers of Canfield, the holding company of Farmers National Bank, the opportunity to scale business in western Pennsylvania, including in the Pittsburgh-area.

The deal is worth $105 million, or $37.62 per share, based on the $17.02 closing share price of Farmers of Canfield on Wednesday.

“This latest transaction will mark a significant extension into the Pennsylvania markets, which has been a longtime strategy for Farmers. The contiguous expansion will also serve as Farmers’ entrance into the attractive Pittsburgh market and allow us to deliver our robust wealth management and mortgage services to the Emlenton footprint. This latest acquisition will continue to integrate Farmers’ culture into new communities and drive value for our stakeholders,” Helmick said.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2022 with conversion targeted for the fall, Helmick said.

Emlenton Bank will merge into Farmers Bank with Emlenton Bank’s branches becoming branches of Farmers Bank. Upon closing, Farmers estimates it will have approximately $5.2 billion in assets and 66 locations in northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

At the end of 2021, Emclaire had $1.1 billion in total assets, $72.4 million in tangible common equity, $790.9 million in gross loans and $918.5 million in total deposits.

Emlenton Bank has 19 branches across western Pennsylvania.

“We are excited to be joining with The Farmers National Bank of Canfield and believe that the combination will benefit our shareholders, customers and the communities we serve,” William C. Marsh, president / CEO and chairman of the board of Emclaire and Emlenton Bank, said.

Marsh will join Farmers as senior vice president and as market president for Pennsylvania after the merger.

Also, Farmers intends to name one director from Emclaire’s board to join its board of directors immediately after the merger and appoint the remaining nonemployee directors of Emclaire to a newly formed advisory board for the Pennsylvania region.

Each shareholder of Emclaire may elect to receive either $40 per share in cash or 2.15 shares of Farmers’ common stock, subject to an overall limitation of 70 percent of the shares being exchanged for Farmers’ shares and 30 percent for cash.

The merger is expected to qualify as a tax-free reorganization for those shareholders electing to receive Farmers’ shares.

The acquisition is Farmers’ sixth in the last seven years, the last one being Cortland Bancorp Inc., the holding company of Cortland Bank, in a cash and stock deal worth about $124 million last year.

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