The $345 million GFA Federal Credit Union of Gardner, Mass., released new details Friday – including a $6.4 million price tag – on its planned purchase of the $82 million Monadnock Community Bank of Peterborough, N.H.
GFA FCU’s president/CEO, Tina Sbrega, suggested there could be a long regulatory process ahead as it covers new legal ground to win the right to buy the shareholder-owned bank.
“We are very hopeful about the process and very excited about this great opportunity,” said Sbrega.
The bank, which lost $1.8 million last year, had been under a cease-and-desist order after it ran into loan trouble, it was learned, and regulators had urged it to find a merger partner.
“We know we will have to deal with NCUA and many regulators,” Sbrega said, noting the transaction must pass muster with the bank’s shareholders, FDIC and the Comptroller of the Currency which last year took over the old Office of Thrift Supervision.
In a press release, GFA said the also transaction is subject to “satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including the repayment of TARP funds by Monadnock.” Once that is complete, the parties anticipate that the transaction will close in the fourth quarter, the release said.
GFA said the purchase price covers substantially all of Monadnock's assets and liabilities. Monadnock is a one-office bank which had converted to a federal savings bank from AWANE Credit Union in 1996.
Sbrega acknowledged that GFA’s purchase price works out to be about $5.50 cash for each of Monadnock's 1.164 million outstanding shares of common stock. The Banker & Tradesman, a banking trade journal, said the price represents 119% of tangible book value, 13.1% price-to-deposits and a 2.73% premium on core deposits as of Dec. 31.
GFA said the Monadnock office would become GFA's ninth full-service branch and its second in New Hampshire. It already has a branch in Rindge, about seven miles from Peterborough.
Sberga said Monadnock put out formal bids for a merger partner in December and it was learned there were other bank bidders.
“This was something that piqued our interest too and so we put in a bid,” Sbrega said. “Peterborough is a vibrant, attractive community and it is to our advantage. The synergies are just right.”
The GFA/Monadnock deal is the second such CU/bank transaction in recent months. In January, the $1.3 billion United FCU of St. Joseph, Mich., completed the takeover of the troubled $83 million Griffith Savings Bank in Indiana after it was first announced in July.
The GFA press release noted the various advisers and law firms involved in the Monadnock deal, including Michael M. Bell, a Niles, Mich., attorney who took part in the UFC/Griffith deal.