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Flushing and Empire Delay Closing of Merger

March 26, 2020, 07:10 AM
Filed Under: Mergers & Acquisitions

Flushing Financial Corporation, parent company of Flushing Bank, and Empire Bancorp, Inc., parent company of Empire National Bank, announced the closing of the previously announced merger of Empire with and into Flushing will be delayed due to the severe instability and volatility in the U.S. financial and stock markets.

In addition to the volatile markets, the delay is predicated upon the unprecedented operational challenges facing both Flushing and Empire, as well as the entire financial services industry, due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Flushing and Empire believe that attempting to close the transaction during this time of severe economic uncertainty and wild volatility in stock prices could adversely impact the shareholders of both institutions and would severely strain the ability of both banks to focus on the needs of their customers. The COVID-19 outbreak, and the necessary government and social reaction intended to minimize its impact, have created significant disruption of business, commerce, travel, and normal daily activities in the New York metropolitan area and throughout the United States, adversely affecting the respective customers, employees and shareholders of both Flushing and Empire. Although the long- and short-term consequences of this outbreak continue to rapidly evolve, Flushing and Empire now anticipate that closing of the merger will be more likely to occur at the end of the 2nd quarter or early in the 3rd quarter of 2020, though closing may occur earlier should financial markets and business conditions stabilize sooner.

John R. Buran, President and Chief Executive Officer of Flushing, commented, “We strongly believe that the Empire merger remains financially attractive to our stockholders, and that continuing to pursue its completion is in the best interest of Flushing, Empire and our respective customers. We remain committed to the merger.”

Douglas C. Manditch, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Empire, stated, “While all parties are disappointed by the delay, we continue to believe that the merger is ultimately in the best interest of Empire, our shareholders and the communities we serve. We continue to plan for the completion of the merger.”

As a result of the delayed closing date of the merger, the deadline by which shareholders of Empire may elect to receive the form of consideration they wish to receive in the merger has been extended. When a target closing date of the merger has been determined, Flushing will announce the new Election Deadline.

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