When two companies merge, there is usually a buyer and a
target. A pair of small, local banks is trying something different.
Halifax National Bank is joining forces with the First National
Bank of Marysville in a deal billed as a merger of equals. The two banks are
forming a new holding company.
Halifax National is based in Halifax,
Dauphin County. First National Bank of
Marysville is based in Marysville, Perry
County. Seven directors
from each side will sit on the board of the new company. Shareholders will get
stock in the holding company, which will be named Riverview Financial Corp. Operations
will continue under the existing names of both banks. The company will register
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and its stock will be traded
over-the-counter, said Kirk D. Fox, executive vice president at Halifax
Riverview will be led by Fox and Robert M. Garst, now an
executive vice president of First National Bank of Marysville. They will
replace the existing leaders of each bank. Paul Hummel, who leads First National
Bank of Marysville, will become an employee of the new company. Hummel will be
charged with business development, Fox said. Thomas N. Wasson, who leads
Halifax National, will take an early retirement. The leadership changes are in
line with each bank’s long-term succession plan, Fox said.
The merger will help the banks follow regulations more
efficiently, Fox said. That was important to leaders of Halifax National to
enable future growth, he said. The banks use the same operating system and have
other similar procedures, Fox said.
“You could literally shut your eyes and walk into either
bank and not know which one you’re in,” Fox said.
The deal also makes geographic sense as the two banks have
no overlap, he said. Halifax National has two branches in Dauphin County
and plans to open a third, in Elizabethville. First National Bank of Marysville has five
branches. Two of them opened within the last 18 months – one in Hampden Township,
and another in Lower Paxton Township,
Dauphin County. Fox said job losses would be
minimal. He did not provide an estimate.
The deal requires approval from regulators and shareholders
of both companies. Closing is expected by the end of the fourth quarter.
The parent company of First National Bank of Marysville is
First Perry Bancorp Inc. The parent company of Halifax National is HNB Bancorp
Inc. The stocks of both parent companies are traded-over-the-counter, which
means they are not listed on a central exchange. The stock prices are quoted by
a service known as the Pink Sheets under the ticker symbols FPYB and HNBR.