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Mid-Wisconsin Bank to merge with Nicolet National Bank


MEDFORD, WI (WSAU) - Mid-Wisconsin Bank announced a merger Thursday with Green Bay based Nicolet National Bank. Under this agreement, Nicolet would acquire Mid-Wisconsin’s assets for 10 -point 2 million dollars.

Bill Weiland is Mid-Wisconsin Bank’s Executive Vice President.  He believes the merger will help them grow in an era where small banks struggle.  "We think that size matters today.  There's just a lot of overhead costs in banking today, particularly with the increased regulatory burden, compliance issues, and this gives us an opportunity to leverage some of those costs."

He says the two banks don’t overlap in any service areas, and that is seen as a plus for both banks.   "We saw that as a real plus to this merger in that there really is no overlap, which is kind of important to the employees, too, because if there's overlap, then typically there's job loss.  I'm not going to say there will be no employee job loss whatsoever, but I think it will be limited given the fact that there isn't an overlap in our marketplace."

Bigger businesses should benefit once the merger is complete.  Weiland says the combined organization will be about 1.1 billion dollars in total assets.  The larger organization increases the bank's lending limit, so for some of our large commercial customers, the lending limit goes up."

The merger is not yet a done deal. Both the shareholders of Nicolet Bank and Mid-Wisconsin Bank have to approve the deal.  Then, the banking regulators have to approve it.

Weiland says Mid-Wisconsin Bank customers should expect a different sign out front, but otherwise, it will be business as usual.  "For the most part, it's the same people they've done business with for years, and they shouldn't notice a real significant difference in the day-to-day operation of the bank."

Mid-Wisconsin Bank is based in Medford. It lost $4.6 million last year, while Nicolet made one-and-a-half million.  Mid-Wisconsin Bank has been dealing with bad loans from the recession.

Nicolet Bank’s CEO Bob Atwell says “This merger represents an important step in the growth of Nicolet. Our objective is to build a community bank of sufficient size to flourish in all economic environments. Size matters and our goal is to serve our customers for the long haul.” President and COO Mike Daniels says the move good for both sides. “Our companies and cultures are very similar in that we bring the true essence of a community bank to our customers.”

The agreement calls for Mid-Wisconsin Bank shareholders to receive 0.3727 shares of Nicolet common stock, subject to Nicolet’s right to pay cash in lieu of shares to certain shareholders who own a small number of common stock shares. Mid-Wisconsin Bank shareholders will own approximately 16% of Nicolet Bank when the merger is completed. The combined bank will operate under the Nicolet National Bank brand name. They anticipate having approximately $1.1 billion in assets and twenty two branches serving Northern Wisconsin. Management anticipates that following the merger, Nicolet will be the sixth largest bank holding company based in Wisconsin.

Mid-Wisconsin Bank currently serves customers through 13 office locations, including two in Medford, Rib Lake, Phillips, Abbotsford, Colby, Neillsville, Fairchild, Eagle River, Rhinelander, Minocqua, Weston, Rib Mountain. Mid-Wisconsin Bank’s Executive Vice President Bill Weiland expects few, if any changes in staff after the merger.