First Waterloo Bancshares buying Best Hometown Bancorp of Collinsville

A Waterloo-based bank corporation is buying another bank system based in Collinsville in a just-announced, $12.3 million deal.

Gary D. Hemmer, president and CEO, First National Bank of Waterloo and its parent company, First Waterloo Bancshares Inc., and Ron Shambaugh, president and CEO, Best Hometown Bank and its parent company, Best Hometown Bancorp Inc., have announced the signing of an agreement and plan of merger.

First Waterloo Bancshares Inc., Waterloo, will acquire all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Best Hometown Bancorp Inc., Collinsville.

Pursuant to the merger agreement and based on the estimated book value of Best Hometown Bancorp, Inc. at closing, the shareholders of Best Hometown Bancorp, Inc. will receive cash consideration of $14.89 per share of common stock, subject to certain adjustments as outlined in the merger agreement.

As of September 30, 2019, there were 826,208 shares of Best Hometown Bancorp Inc. common stock outstanding. Based on the number of shares outstanding and the $14.89 per share price consideration, the aggregate deal value would be $12.302 million.

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Best Hometown Bank. The bank has been serving the Collinsville and neighboring communities for more than 132 years. Best Hometown Bank is a true community bank and has been built upon tradition and strong core values,” said Hemmer.

“This is a unique opportunity for Best Hometown Bank to partner with an organization that operates with a similar philosophy as Best Hometown Bank. First National Bank of Waterloo has a long-standing history and is very community focused. We look forward to offering our customers additional new products and services,” said Shambaugh.

As of September 30, 2019, First National Bank of Waterloo had total assets of approximately $485 million. The bank currently has 11 banking centers in central and southern Illinois and is serving customers in Waterloo, Columbia, Millstadt, O’Fallon, Dupo, Smithton, Effingham and Stewardson.

Best Hometown Bank had total assets of $115 million and has two banking centers in Madison County and is serving customers in Collinsville and Maryville.

A spokesperson said the banks will remain separate entities until they merge the charters, which should be in the second quarter of 2020.  When they merge the charters, Best Hometown Bank would then assume First National Bank of Waterloo’s name.

According to a release, the transaction is expected to enable First National Bank of Waterloo and Best Hometown Bank to:

 Create a financially strong, well-capitalized, community bank.

 Provide a full array of competitive products and services for consumers and businesses.

 Maintain a banking organization built upon traditions and values.

 Offer growth and career opportunities for employees.

 Be better positioned to respond to future challenges.

The transaction is subject to certain closing conditions, including the approval of the appropriate regulatory authorities and of the shareholders of Best Hometown Bancorp, Inc. The parties presently anticipate that the transaction will close in the first quarter of 2020.

Sandler O’Neill + Partners, L.P. served as financial advisor, and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP served as legal counsel to First Waterloo Bancshares Inc. Raymond James & Associates, Inc. served as financial advisor, and Howard & Howard Attorneys, PLLC served as legal counsel to Best Hometown Bancorp Inc.

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