Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Wesbanco to Acquire Esb Bank Shares of Ellwood City-Based Bank Climb 44.2 Percent

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Wesbanco to Acquire Esb Bank Shares of Ellwood City-Based Bank Climb 44.2 Percent

Article excerpt

When WesBanco Inc. acquired West View-based Fidelity Bank two years ago, it significantly expanded its presence in the Pittsburgh market. Now, the Wheeling, W.Va., bank is bulking up again in the region with a deal to buy Ellwood City-based ESB Bank.

With the roughly $325 million transaction announced late Wednesday, WesBanco adds 23 offices, $1.9 billion in assets, $1.3 billion in deposits, and gains a top 10 market share in the Pittsburgh region.

The deal "significantly expands our presence in an attractive market for us," Todd Clossin, CEO of the $6.3 billion-asset WesBanco, said in a conference call Thursday. He called Pittsburgh "very vibrant" with a "very resilient housing market."

Once the two banks are combined, 30 percent of WesBanco's franchise will be located in Western Pennsylvania, Mr. Clossin said.

News of the deal ignited ESB's shares, which shot up $5.70, or 44.2 percent, to close Thursday at $18.59. WesBanco slipped 55 cents, or 1.6 percent, to close at $34.19.

For ESB, a bank founded nearly 100 years ago as Ellwood Federal Savings and Loan, "the time was right" to seek a strategic partner, CEO Charlotte Zuschlag said during the conference call.

Ms. Zuschlag said ESB - which she said had been pursued over the last several years by a number of financial institutions in Western Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio - decided in early June to entertain bids. …

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