Peoples Bank Acquires A.J. Smith Federal Savings Bank

Peoples Bank Acquires A.J. Smith Federal Savings Bank

NorthWest Indiana Bancorp, the parent of Peoples Bank SB, announced that it has successfully completed the previously announced acquisition of AJS Bancorp, Inc. and its wholly-owned federally chartered savings bank subsidiary A.J. Smith Federal Savings Bank, of Midlothian, IL, in a stock and cash transaction. Simultaneous with the acquisition of AJS Bancorp by NWIN, A.J. Smith merged with and into Peoples Bank.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, stockholders of AJS Bancorp who hold 100 or more shares of AJS Bancorp common stock will receive 0.2030 shares of NWIN’s common stock and $7.20 in cash for each share of AJS Bancorp common stock. Stockholders of AJS Bancorp holding less than 100 shares of AJS Bancorp common stock will receive $16.00 in cash and no stock consideration for each share of AJS Bancorp common stock.

With the completion of the acquisition, NWIN will have approximately $1.2 billion in consolidated assets, $853 million in loans and $1.1 billion in deposits. The acquisition will further expand Peoples Bank’s retail banking network in the South Suburban Chicagoland market, bringing the total number of full-service Banking Centers to 22. The integration of A.J. Smith into the Peoples Bank brand will be completed during the second quarter of 2019.

“As we finalize the merger with A.J. Smith, Peoples Bank continues to fulfill our strategic vision. Our footprint has expanded to better serve the banking needs of South Suburban Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana. Many people commute daily across the state line and, as a community bank, we are uniquely positioned to help our customers be more successful. That is our mission, and we are excited not just about growing, but about better serving our customers and our communities,” said Benjamin Bochnowski, president and chief executive officer.

“Customer service is imperative to the success of any merger, and I look forward to working with Jerry Weberling, chief executive officer at A.J. Smith, to ensure a seamless transition. Key customer-facing A.J. Smith employees will be joining Peoples Bank in order to help maintain the relationships that are essential to community banking. With our joint scale and reach, we feel that the combined organizations will better serve customers and create more value for all of our stakeholders – our shareholders, our employees, our customers, and the communities we serve,” Bochnowski said.

“I am very excited that we are now part of Peoples Bank and believe this partnership will be an excellent one for our customers, employees and communities,” said Jerry A. Weberling, chief executive officer, president, and chief financial officer of AJS Bancorp. “The core values embodied in their mission statement to help customers and communities be more successful are shared by our company and employees. I look forward to the coming enhancements to our product and service offerings and expansion of the banking network and delivery channels in the second quarter of this year.”

NorthWest Indiana Bancorp was advised by Stephens Inc. and Barnes & Thornburg LLP as legal counsel. AJS Bancorp, Inc. was advised by, and received a fairness opinion from, Keefe Bruyette & Woods, Inc., and was advised by Luse Gorman, PC as legal counsel.

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