Chatham-Illinois based United Community Bancorp Inc. announced Friday an agreement to acquire 100 percent of Liberty Bank in Alton.
Liberty Bank is a full-service community bank with four locations in Alton, Godfrey and Bethalto. The bank had $328.2 million in assets as of June 30.
“Liberty Bank is an excellent and very strategic addition to our group of banks,” said Robert A. Narmont, chairman and CEO of United Community Bancorp. said in a press release. “Liberty Bank is a natural extension of our market area. They are a strong, well-respected institution in the communities they serve and have a philosophy very similar to ours.”
“We have known and respected UCB for many years and we are very pleased at the prospect of becoming part of their organization,” Dale Blachford, president and CEO of Liberty Bank, said in the same release. “Joining UCB will provide Liberty Bank with the organizational size necessary and expertise to provide our customers with enhanced technology to compete in today’s marketplace. I am also pleased to share the Liberty Bank name will continue to support the communities we serve, and we will continue to provide the same great service delivered by the same team and board of directors.”
The acquisition, subject to regulatory and Liberty BancShares stockholder approval, is expected to close during the first quarter of 2017. Once complete, Liberty Bank will join UCB’s team of community banks: United Community Bank of Chatham, Mercantile Bank of Quincy, Marine Bank & Trust of Carthage and Brown County State Bank of Mount Sterling. It also will include the addition of Illini Bank of Springfield and Farmers State Bank of Camp Point, expected to be completed before year’s end.
“Liberty Bank has an outstanding reputation as a strong community leader and a great team of bankers who will continue to lead Liberty Bank,” said Todd Wise, president and CEO of United Community Bank. “We are excited to have this opportunity to bring together our strengths, not only for the residents and businesses of Madison County but for all of our customers combined.”
Upon completion of this purchase and the company’s Illini Corp. merger, United Community Bancorp will be the largest banking group in Sangamon County and West Central Illinois with $2.5 billion in consolidated assets. Its bank network will include 46 branches serving 32 communities in 13 central Illinois counties and one in northwest Missouri.
“It’s a network that clearly shows not only our regional focus, but our commitment to and our investment in communities of all sizes throughout central Illinois — the places we call home,” Wise said.