Magazine article American Banker

MAF to Jump 12spots in Deposits in Key Ill. Market

Magazine article American Banker

MAF to Jump 12spots in Deposits in Key Ill. Market

Article excerpt

MAF Bancorp Inc.'s deal to buy the third-largest bank in Kane County, Ill., would instantly give it a much higher profile in Chicago's fast-growing northwest suburbs.

MAF, of Clarendon Hills, Ill., announced the $177.5 million cash and stock deal for EFC Bancorp Inc. on Thursday.

MAF's Mid America Bank subsidiary, which has two branches in Kane County, would gain seven more and go from No. 15 to No. 3 in deposit share in the county, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. statistics.

"We've had this void in our map in the northwest suburbs. This really makes us a player in that market," said Jerry A. Weberling, MAF's chief financial officer, in an interview Friday.

Mid America would also move up one place, to No. 7, in deposit share for the entire metropolitan Chicago region.

MAF, which has assets of $9.7 billion, has been actively opening branches in its markets between Chicago and Milwaukee. Stephen L. Covington, an analyst with Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. Inc., of St. Louis, said that buying the $1 billion-asset EFC would put MAF's growth in the northwest suburbs on a faster track.

"It would have been very difficult for them to de novo and get the scale they wanted in a relatively quick time," Mr. Covington said.

EFC, of Elgin, is the parent of EFS Bank. Aside from the seven branches in Kane County, it has single branches in Cook and McHenry counties and several sites for branch expansion in those areas.

Allen H. Koranda, MAF's chairman and chief executive, said in the announcement of the deal that those sites would position MAF for additional growth and that Kane County "has some of the best growth prospects in the Chicago region. …

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