Transaction adds branches and expands mortgage offerings
DeWITT – Community Bank System, Inc.’s (NYSE: CBU) acquisition of Elmira Savings Bank does more than just add branches to its Community Bank, NA unit.
The purchase brings a broader and deeper set of services to bank customers, said Mark E. Tryniski, president and CEO of DeWitt-based Community Bank System.
“They have a very nice mortgage business,” he says of Elmira Bank. “It makes a lot of sense for us to add a little more scale. They actually offered some mortgage products that we didn’t offer. These products, including Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, combine Community Bank’s existing mortgage offerings to create a more robust product portfolio, notes Tryniski, who has been Community’s senior executive for nearly 16 years.
The acquisition, which closed May 13 in an all-cash deal worth $82.8 million, is approximately the eighth deal Community Bank System has completed in the past decade. , he said.
“We have always grown through a combination of organic growth and [mergers and acquisitions]adds Tryniski.
The deal with Elmira Savings Bank adds eight branches in a five-county area of central New York and the southern part and gives Community Bank more than 220 locations, $16.2 billion in assets and 13.8 billions of dollars in deposits.
Despite its now larger size, Community Bank still operates as a community bank, Tryniski says. This means decision-making remains local, allowing customers to build strong relationships with their local branch. “We tell our branch managers, ‘You’re the president of the bank in this town,'” he explains.
The acquisition of Elmira Savings Bank follows Community Bank’s sixth place in the banking category on Newsweek magazine’s 2022 list of “America’s Most Trusted Companies.”
“It’s pretty good because trust is our product,” Tryniski says. “The whole organization is delighted with this recognition. He credits the Community Bank team’s care and pride in serving customers and the community.
Community Bank consolidated a small number of branches, Tryniski notes, and also cut some back-office positions while integrating the acquisition of Elmira Savings Bank. He did not specify the number of jobs cut. The Elmira-based bank operated 12 branches before its sale to Community Bank.
As well as being given the opportunity to apply for one of 250 open jobs at the Community Bank, affected employees also received severance pay and outplacement assistance, he adds.
Under the terms of the agreement, Elmira Savings Bank shareholders are entitled to receive $23.10 per share in cash for each common share. Computershare Trust Company, NA is in the process of sending transmittal documents to each shareholder of Elmira Savings Bank to process payment for the merger.
Stephens Inc. acted as financial advisor to Community Bank System and Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP acted as legal advisor. Boenning & Scattergood, Inc. served as financial advisor to Elmira Savings Bank while Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP served as its legal advisor.
Community Bank System first announced its agreement to buy Elmira Savings Bank on October 4th. Then, on April 22 of this year, it announced that it had received regulatory approval from the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for the transaction. Community Bank also said it has obtained a waiver from filing an application with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for the deal.
Community Bank System has offices in upstate New York, northeastern Pennsylvania, Vermont and western Massachusetts. The banking company offers financial planning, insurance and wealth management services through its operating units Community Bank Wealth Management Group and OneGroup NY, Inc. The subsidiary Benefit Plans Administrative Services, Inc. (BPAS) provides benefits administration, trust services, mutual fund administration and actuarial consulting services.