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First Busey and Pulaski Financial to merge


From Illinois Business Journal news services

One of St. Louis’ oldest banking institutions is being acquired and merged into a Champaign, Ill.- based bank group.

First Busey Corp., the holding company for Busey Bank, and Pulaski Financial Corp., the holding company for Pulaski Bank, National Association have jointly announced the signing of a definitive agreement in which Busey will acquire Pulaski through a merger transaction.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Pulaski shareholders will receive 0.79 shares of Busey common stock for each share of Pulaski common stock. Based upon Busey’s closing share price of $21.82 on Dec. 3, 2015, the implied per share purchase price is $17.24 with an aggregate transaction value of approximately $210.7 million. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and approval by Busey and Pulaski shareholders, and is presently anticipated to close in the first half of 2016.

First Busey President and Chief Executive Officer Van A. Dukeman said, “Pulaski is a highly respected banking company in theMidwest’s fourth-largest MSA. We are combining two organizations with similar values and a focus on customer service and organic growth. St. Louis’ size and density will allow our combined organization greater commercial banking and wealth management growth opportunities. In addition, FirsTech, our payment processing subsidiary, has a significant hub in St. Louis.”

Founded in 1922, and with more than $1.5 billion in assets, Pulaski Bank operates thirteen branches in metropolitan St. Louis, though none in Metro Easti. As of Sept. 30, 2015, Pulaski Bank had $1.1 billion in deposits and $1.3 billion in loans. In addition, Pulaski operates a sizeable mortgage banking division through 20 mortgage banking offices in the Midwest.

“Pulaski has a strong leadership team, who we look forward to working with as we seek to build on Pulaski’s 93 years of strong banking history in St. Louis,” Dukeman said.

Gary W. Douglass, president and chief executive officer of Pulaski, said, “Like Pulaski, Busey is a true community bank. Its associates are firmly grounded in the values that make our communities great. Busey’s size, broad array of commercial and wealth management products, banking expertise and strong capital position — coupled with community ties and flexible and responsive local decision-making authority — offer us the ability to further capitalize on opportunities in St. Louis, while continuing to offer exceptional customer service. Busey will build on our shared dedication to community involvement and service excellence, as well as provide us the opportunity to offer larger commercial credits, spurring even greater economic and community development activity. Pulaski’s strong and sizeable mortgage banking division will nicely complement Busey’s existing fee based business as well as providing meaningful cross sale opportunities to mortgage customers.”

Busey was advised by FIG Partners, LLC and the law firm of Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP. Pulaski was advised by Sandler O’Neill + Partners, L.P. and the law firm of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.

Busey corporate profile

First Busey Corp. (Nasdaq:BUSE) is a $3.9 billion financial holding company headquartered in Champaign. Busey Bank, First Busey Corp.’s wholly-owned bank subsidiary, is also headquartered in Champaign and has 29 banking centers serving Illinois, a banking center in Indianapolis, Indiana, and six banking centers serving southwest Florida. Trevett Capital Partners, a wealth management division of Busey Bank, provides asset management, investment and fiduciary services to high net worth clients in southwest Florida. Busey Bank had total assets of $3.8 billion as of September 30, 2015.

None of the bank centers is in Metro East.

In addition, First Busey Corp. owns a retail payment processing subsidiary, FirsTech, Inc., through Busey Bank, which processes over 23 million transactions per year using online bill payment, lockbox processing and walk-in payments at its 3,000 agent locations in 36 states.

Busey Wealth Management is a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Busey Corporation. Through Busey Trust Company, Busey Wealth Management provides asset management, investment and fiduciary services to individuals, businesses and foundations. As of September 30, 2015, Busey Wealth Management’s assets under care were approximately $5.1 billion.
For more information about Busey, visit

Pulaski corporate profile

Pulaski Financial Corp., operating in its 93rd year through its subsidiary, Pulaski Bank, National Association, offers a full line of quality retail and commercial banking products through 13 full-service branch offices in the St. Louis metropolitan area. The Bank also offers mortgage loan products through loan production offices in the St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago, and Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan areas, mid-Missouri, southwestern Missouri, eastern Kansas, and Lincoln, Nebraska. The Company’s website can be accessed at

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