Magazine article American Banker

Rural-Only Upstate N.Y. Bank Buying 15 Chase Branches

Magazine article American Banker

Rural-Only Upstate N.Y. Bank Buying 15 Chase Branches

Article excerpt

A Syracuse, N.Y.-area community bank is boosting its branch network by almost 50%, with the acquisition of 15 rural upstate branches from Chase Manhattan Corp.

Community Bank System Inc. will pay an 8.75% deposit premium for $455 million of deposits, or about $37 million. The bank will also pay Chase the fair market value for about $30 million in small business loans and for the actual branch facilities.

The total price could reach $75 million, although the exact amount won't be known until the deal's closing, which is expected in the second quarter of 1995, pending regulatory approval.

The 15 new branches will add to $852-million-asset Community Bank's 37-branch network spanning the center of the state from the Canadian border to the Pennsylvania state line. The branches are located in 11 counties, including five that are new to Community Bank's network.

"It all ties together and extends our northern region franchise very nicely," said Community Bank president and chief executive Sanford A. Belden. "We now have a continuous line in the central part of the state from north to south."

Community Bank officials plan to issue about $35 million to $40 million in new common stock in early 1995 to help finance the transaction.

This is the second time the two banks have teamed up for a branch sale. Community bought Chase's Cato, N.Y., branch earlier this year.

No other deals are currently pending with Chase, Mr. Belden said. The deal is part of a move by $117-billion-asset Chase to place more emphasis on technology and service delivery in urban markets through ATMs, telephone and computer banking, and workplace services.

"Our business strategies going forward will put more emphasis on technology and people," said William H. Hoefling, executive vice president and distribution executive for the New York Citybased corporation. …

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