Mission Bank, Mojave Desert Bank, N.A. Merger Approved - Mojave Desert News : News

Mission Bank, Mojave Desert Bank, N.A. Merger Approved

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Posted: Friday, January 4, 2013 12:00 pm

Bakersfield-based Mission Bancorp (OTCBB:MSBC), the parent holding company for Mission Bank, announced they have received final approval to merge with Mojave-based Mojave Desert Bank, N.A. (MOJA:OTC US) after Mojave Bank’s shareholders voted to approve the merger in a meeting last night. Combined with FDIC and DFI approvals, this sets the final stage for the merger to close in January 2013.

Upon completion of the merger, Mojave Desert Bank branches in Mojave, Ridgecrest, Lancaster and Helendale will become branches of Mission Bank expanding and strengthening the community financial services to customers in the San Joaquin Valley, as well as the High Desert communities of Kern, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.

The transaction is still subject to customary closing procedures which will take place over the next couple of weeks. Earlier this year, the Findley Reports, a highly regarded industry organization that monitors California-based banks, called the merger a win-win for both Mission and Mojave.

“This transaction expands Mission’s focus into the eastern Kern County and High Desert marketplace,” Findley noted, adding that Mojave “was in need of raising capital if it was going to remain independent. Therefore, joining forces with Mission becomes a good opportunity for the shareholders, and at the same time, provides additional products and services for the customers of Mojave.”

“This is a great way to bring in the New Year. We are pleased to add Mojave Desert Bank’s customers to Mission Bank’s financial family,” said Mission Chief Executive Officer Richard Fanucchi. “The combined two banks are uniquely suited to providing the personal attention that customers, particularly small businesses, have come to expect from these two institutions.”

“The transaction will provide Mission Bank growth opportunities, while benefiting customers by improving efficiency, increasing the availability of innovative financial products, and expanding the reach of Mission’s premium relationship based banking services,” said Mission Bank President A.J. Antongiovanni.

“We are excited to be affiliated with a bank that has a similar philosophy of community banking and customer care,” said George Nagy, president and chief executive officer of Mojave Desert Bank, N.A. “Our customers will benefit from gaining access to a wide range of products and services, while continuing to receive the same high quality of service they have come to expect. I look forward to working with Mission Bank and the opportunity to grow the customer base of our current branches.”

George Nagy has been with Mojave Desert Bank, N.A. for nearly seven years in his current position. Prior to that, he served in various management banking positions in Lancaster for over 25 years.

“George Nagy and his financial team have served eastern Kern County and the high desert well in sometimes troubling economic times, particularly during the recent recession that has been felt in all business sectors,” said Antongiovanni.

“The merger will allow Mission Bank and Mojave Desert Bank, N.A. to streamline operations and respond to a growing regulatory burden,” he said. “The goal for us is to improve efficiencies, while maintaining the intimate personal service we provide to our business customers.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Mission will pay approximately $7,190,000 for Mojave Desert Bank, N.A. common stock. The consideration is comprised of $3,620,000 in cash, subject to adjustment, and 140,000 shares of Mission Bancorp common stock, which the parties have approximated the per share value at $25.50.

At November 30, 2012, Mission Bank had total assets of $290 million, total loans of $129 million and total deposits of $259 million. Mojave Desert Bank at November 30, 2012 had total assets of $100 million, total loans of $54 million and total deposits of $91 million. Upon completion of the transaction, it is anticipated the combined company will have approximately $390 million in total assets, $350 million in total deposits, $183 million in total loans, and a network of seven branches.

Mission Bancorp is the parent holding company of two wholly owned subsidiaries, Mission Bank and Mission Bank 1031 Exchange, LLC, and a 50% owner of Double W, LLC, an entity that owns commercial property including the bank’s Shafter Business Banking Center. Mission Bancorp is headquartered in Bakersfield, California.

On December 20, 2012, Mission Bancorp was trading at $24.50 and Mojave Desert Bank, N.A. at $14.55.

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