Old Second National Bank and West Suburban Bank plan to merge

Old Second National Bank and West Suburban Bank announced plans Monday to merge.

Aurora-based Old Second Bancorp Inc. is to acquire Lombard-based West Suburban Bancorp Inc. in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $297 million. The board of directors of both parent companies unanimously agreed to the merger agreement.

In a 32-minute conference call Monday, Old Second Bancorp President and CEO James Eccher said West Suburban Bank President Keith Acker and two other West Suburban directors would join the Old Second board of directors.

"We've been looking for a high-quality deposit franchise to provide scale and allow us to increase our competitiveness in the Chicago marketplace over the last few years. West Suburban perfectly fits that description," Eccher said. "The Chicago market has been highly disruptive, as there are fewer and fewer independent franchises remaining. And this transaction will position Old Second to be an employer of choice - attracting and retaining top talent."

West Suburban Bank operates 43 banking locations across DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Will counties, while Old Second National Bank operates 29 banking offices across seven counties in northern Illinois.

Though West Suburban has more branches, the combined bank will most likely use the 150-year-old Old Second National Bank name. West Suburban Bank dates back to 1962 and was founded by Ralph Acker.

There is some service area overlap, and the two banks share some mutual clients. According to the conference call, six to 10 banks located within 2 miles of each other may be considered for closure.

The pro forma company is estimated to have approximately $6.2 billion in assets, $5.3 billion in deposits and $3.4 billion in loans. It will create the largest community bank under $10 billion in assets in the Chicago market, pending required regulatory approvals and confirmation of shareholders. The merger is expected to be completed before the close of the fourth quarter of 2021.

"This is a transformational deal for our company as we become the second largest community bank headquartered in greater Chicago by deposits," Eccher said. "I'm extremely excited about our future, as we believe this acquisition will be a catalyst for continued earnings and balance sheet growth."

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