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Northwoods National Bank sold, Elcho unit to stay with Baraboo
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Customers at Northwoods National Bank in Elcho should notice few—if any—changes following the announcement of the sale of the Rhinelander branch.

Peoples State Bank, based in Wausau, announced plans Wednesday to acquire Northwoods National Bank of Rhinelander, a deal that includes some of the loans of the Elcho branch, but not the deposits or the actual facility.

“Elcho is going to be our branch and stay our branch,” Maggie Youngquist of Baraboo National Bank said.

She added that customers at Elcho will receive paperwork detailing the reassignments of their loans and various options.

The sale was one of three announced by Baraboo National Bank. In addition to Rhinelander, the Green Lake branch was sold to Horicon Bank and the Viroqua branch to Peoples State Bank headquartered in Prairie du Chien.

The Wausau-based Peoples Bank already operates a branch near Rhinelander’s downtown. It is expected to retain that office as well as the Northwoods Bank facility on Lincoln Street.

“Since entering the Rhinelander market in 1998, Peoples has become a leader in local business and real estate lending,” Peoples Northern Region President Tom Knudsen said. “We look forward to helping the customers of Northwoods National Bank with their financial needs and strengthening their community.”

Peter Knitt, president and CEO of Peoples State Bank in Wausau said the acquisition of the Rhinelander branch will increase his bank’s deposit market share in the community to the top position in the Rhinelander market.

“Peoples State Bank is proud to expand the locations available to our existing and new customers with our current locations in Rhinelander, Minocqua and Eagle River,” Knitt, who at one time managed M&I Bank in Antigo, said. “Our goal is to serve as a strong, local financial partner, and this acquisition helps us do that.”

The Rhinelander purchase includes approximately $22 million of performing loans and $44 million of deposits as of Dec. 31, 2013.

Baraboo National Bank Chairman and CEO Merlin Zitzner said that all three transitions should be seamless for customers. He added that pending regulatory review, it is expected that the sales will close sometime in early spring of this year.

“The three agreements constitute a major step forward in strengthening The Baraboo National Bank and enhancing our ability to improve our efficiency and increase our capital ratios,” Zitzner said. “These transactions will help The Baraboo National Bank concentrate its geographic footprint and improve its system-wide operations as the bank continues to adapt to the ongoing changes in the financial services industry, especially with the continued growth of Internet banking.”

Zitzner said that the bank was grateful to the three communities for their past support. He added that he was particularly pleased that the three banks acquiring the branches are excellent organizations with strong traditions of outstanding customer service and close links to the communities they serve.

“The Baraboo National Bank has a tradition of excellent service and a commitment to our loyal and valued customers, and we thank the customers in these three communities for the chance to serve them” Zitzner added. “We are pleased that we were able to reach these agreements with three, quality banking companies.”

The Baraboo National Bank is headquartered in Baraboo and provides a range of banking and financial services from offices located in Columbia, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Juneau, Langlade, Oneida, Sauk and Vernon counties.

In aggregate, the three branch transactions involve the sale of approximately $60 million in loans and the assumption of approximately $160 million in deposits.


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Northwoods National Bank in Elcho, shortly before opening this morning.
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ANTIGO DAILY
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Mail to: Fred Berner
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