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Citizens Business Bank acquiring County Commerce Bank

By   /   Wednesday, October 14th, 2015  /   Comments Off on Citizens Business Bank acquiring County Commerce Bank

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Ontario-based Citizens Business Bank will acquire Oxnard-based County Commerce Bank in a cash and stock deal announced Oct. 14.

The deal will strengthen Citizens’ commercial banking presence in Ventura County and CCB will have more lending power, the companies said in a news release.

In exchange for all of CCB’s common stock and options, Citizens will pay $41.25 million — half in stock and half in cash. That equates to $16.79 per CCB share. The banks expect the merger to close in the first quarter of next year.

“Citizens Business Bank is the perfect fit for County Commerce Bank and, most importantly, our customers and employees. We are excited to be partnering with them,” said Joe Kreutz, chairman and CEO of County Commerce. “Citizens Business Bank will expand upon our reach, our abilities and our suite of products while continuing our commitment to providing excellent service to our business and consumer customers. Our shareholders will benefit from the opportunity to own CVBF’s NASDAQ-listed stock with over 100 quarters of consecutive cash dividend payments. Based on our similar cultures, we are looking forward to a smooth transition.”

Citizens is owned by its parent company, CVB Financial Corp. County Commerce shareholders would hold approximately 1.16 percent of CVBF’s outstanding common stock following the merger.

CCB will operate as Citizens Business Bank when the merger closes and offer an expanded branch and ATM network and a broad range of products and services, the companies said. CCB has about $252 million in total assets and about $216 million in total deposits.

“County Commerce Bank is a strong community bank and an excellent strategic and geographic fit for Citizens,” said Chris Myers, president and CEO of Citizens Business Bank. “We look forward to welcoming their associates, customers, and shareholders. Joe Kreutz and his banking team have built a first-class organization that will help Citizens expand our presence in the greater Ventura County area. This merger is about expansion and growth. As such, we have no plans to close any CCB locations.”

Citizens recently added a Santa Barbara office, looking to target the region’s small- to middle-market businesses. It has about $7.7 billion in assets.

County Commerce shares rose $2.78, more than 20 percent, to $16.13 on the first day of trading after the proposed merger was announced.

• Contact Alex Kacik at [email protected]

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