Two of Southwest Wisconsin’s independently owned bank companies are merging later this year.
Boscobel Bancorp, Inc., the holding company of Community First Bank, and Rural Bancshares of Wisconsin, Inc., the holding company of Livingston State Bank, announced their agreement to merge their companies as what a news release called “a merger of equals.”
Community First Bank has locations in Boscobel, Muscoda, Richland Center, Reedsburg and Baraboo. Livingston State Bank has locations in Livingston and Platteville.
Once approved by regulators, the merger of Rural into Boscobel is expected to occur in the second quarter of this year, while the merger of Livingston State Bank into Community First Bank is expected to occur in the third or fourth quarter.
Upon completion of the bank merger the banks will operate under the Community First Bank name.
The combined bank, based on financial results as of Dec. 31, is projected to have total assets of approximately $400 million, deposits of approximately $330 million and loans of approximately $262 million. The combined bank will have eight locations in southwest Wisconsin.
“Both banks and their employees have similar cultures of providing superior value to their customers and a strong commitment to their communities,” said Dan Klahn, president and CEO of Community First Bank. “Our markets fit nicely together, which will give customers the ability to transact business at numerous additional locations. The increasing bank size and corresponding economies of scale will make it much more cost effective to continue to provide new and improved products and services to our customers.”
“We are really excited to join forces with Community First Bank as it has always been our focus to be a locally owned community bank and this merger will allow for that to continue,” said Doug Martin, president of Livingston State Bank. “By merging our two organizations we will be able to remain an independently-owned community bank and continue to provide the same great service our customers have come to expect from us.”
Community First Bank began as First National Bank of Boscobel in 1871. The bank reorganized as Pipkin Bank in 1879, then after state law prohibited private banks its name changed to Pipkin State Bank in 1903 and Central State Bank in 1912.
State Bank of Boscobel formed in 1892. The two banks merged to form Boscobel State Bank in 1930. The name changed to Community First Bank in 1994.
Livingston State Bank formed in 1903. Rural Bankshares formed in 2004 to allow James and Joyce Neuendorf to retire after 43 and 30 years, respectively, of working for the bank.