December 20, 2013
Munster, Indiana - NorthWest Indiana Bancorp (the “Bancorp”), the holding company for Peoples Bank, announced today that its bank subsidiary, Peoples Bank (“Peoples”) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Hammond (“First Federal”), a federal mutual savings bank headquartered in Hammond, Indiana, by merger.
Peoples will acquire the assets and liabilities of First Federal in a voluntary supervisory merger conversion transaction. No shares will be issued or cash or other consideration paid in the transaction. The transaction will not require the approval of the members of First Federal.
First Federal has a home office and branch office in Lake County,Indiana. As of September 30, 2013, First Federal reported total assets of $40.7 million, total loans of $31.8 million, and total deposits of $37.6 million.
"Peoples Bank is taking a significant step in expanding our community banking franchise and furthering our strategic goals through consolidation," said David A. Bochnowski, chairman and chief executive officer of Peoples and the Bancorp. "The merging of our two organizations offers opportunities to create operating, investment and managerial synergies while offering first federal customers a broader menu of traditional and electronic banking products to meet their needs now and in the future," he added.
John Freyek, president and chief executive officer of First Federal, views the merger as the means to bring together two community banks that share a similar history of local decision-making, great customer service and commitment to the communities they serve. “Our goal this past year has been to explore possible relationships that would be meaningful to our customers, employees and the community,” said Freyek. “We’re excited to partner with Peoples and provide our customers access to a full range of deposit, lending and wealth management product and service options while preserving our community banking roots.”
Peoples Bank Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Benjamin Bochnowski describes the merger as a win-win situation for all. “We feel that the strong strategic, financial and cultural fit between Peoples Bank and First Federal creates value for all our stakeholders,” he said.
NorthWest Bancorp’s common stock is traded on the OTC Bulletin Board under NWIN. The Bancorp’s subsidiary, Peoples Bank, has offices in Crown Point, Dyer, East Chicago, Gary, Hammond, Hobart, Merrillville, Munster, St. John, Schererville and Valparaiso, Indiana. The Bank’s website, ibankpeoples.com, provides information on the Bank’s products, services and investor relations.
For Further Information
Contact Benjamin Bochnowski at 219-853-7575
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