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Associated Banc-Corp Closes Acquisition of First Staunton

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Associated Banc-Corp ASB has closed the deal to acquire First Staunton Bancshares. The all-cash deal, valued at $76.3 million, was announced in July 2019.

Per the terms, Staunton, IL-based First Staunton’s subsidiary, The First National Bank in Staunton, will merge with Associated Banc-Corp’s arm, Associated Bank, N.A.

Additionally, Associated Banc-Corp expects the deal to be accretive to its earnings in 2020 (excluding one-time charges). Further, the transaction is likely to produce strong returns on capital. The company anticipates to realize nearly 35% cost savings from back office and frontline branch operating efficiencies.

"Associated Bank is pleased to welcome the customers and employees of First Staunton to our company," said Philip B. Flynn, Associated President and CEO. "Our teams will continue to collaborate to ensure First Staunton customers enjoy the added conveniences, products and services available to them. This merger further enables us to invest in the Southern Illinois market and provide increased value for our customers and shareholders."

Of late, Associated Banc-Corp has been on a buyout spree, given its strong liquidity position. In 2019, it acquired the Wisconsin operations of Huntington Bancshares’ (HBAN - Free Report) arm — The Huntington National Bank. Per the terms, it received about $850 million of deposits, $134 million worth loans and 32 branch locations.

In 2018, it acquired a multi-line insurance consulting firm, Anderson Insurance & Investment Agency, Inc. Other than boosting its insurance operation through inorganic growth efforts, the company has acquired Bank Mutual Corporation and Whitnell & Co.

Shares of Associated Banc-Corp have gained 3.9% in the past six months compared with 9.2% growth for the industry it belongs to.

Currently, Associated Banc-Corp carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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