Associated Banc-Corp Closes Buyout of 32 Wisconsin Branches

Associated Banc-Corp ASB has completed the acquisition of 32 Wisconsin branch locations from The Huntington National Bank., a subsidiary of Huntington Bancshares Incorporated HBAN. The deal, closed through its subsidiary Associated Bank, N.A., was announced in December 2018.

Philip B. Flynn, Associated Banc-Corp President and CEO, said, “We are pleased to announce the completion of the Huntington branch transaction and the expansion of our presence into 13 additional Wisconsin communities. This acquisition plays an important role in providing continued growth to benefit our customers and shareholders.”

Per the terms of the transaction (announced in December 2018), Associated Banc-Corp will acquire $850 million of deposits and $134 million worth loans. Nonetheless, the deal is not expected to have any material impact on the company’s financials.

Over the past few years, Associated Banc-Corp has been expanding inorganically. In 2015, the company acquired Ahmann & Martin Co, and in 2017, it completed the Whitnell & Co buyout. Additionally, in 2018, it acquired Bank Mutual Corporation, Diversified Insurance Solutions and Anderson Insurance.

All these have been accretive to the company’s earnings and also supported revenue growth. This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company is well positioned to grow further from opportunistic acquisitions, given its strong liquidity position and favorable banking consolidation environment.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Over the past six months, shares of Associated Banc-Corp have rallied 5.2%, marginally underperforming the industry’s rise of 5.9%.

Of late, consolidation in the banking sector is on the rise, driven by easing of stringent regulations and lower corporate tax rates that freed up capital. Several small and mid-size banks, including Fifth Third Bancorp FITB, BancorpSouth Bank BXS and People's United Financial, Inc. have been undertaking opportunistic acquisitions that will not only lead to geographic expansion but will also help diversify revenue base.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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