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Valley National Bancorp to Acquire Westchester Bank

July 01, 2021, 07:18 AM
Filed Under: Mergers & Acquisitions

Valley National Bancorp and The Westchester Bank Holding Corporation announced they have entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby Valley will acquire Westchester, parent company of The Westchester Bank. The acquisition of this high-performing commercial bank will provide Valley a physical footprint and additional commercial lending expertise in the demographically attractive Westchester County, NY, market.

Westchester is the largest independent commercially focused bank headquartered in Westchester County with total assets of $1.3 billion, total loans of over $900 million and total deposits above $1.1 billion across its seven-branch network as of March 31. Westchester has consistently produced returns on average assets above 1.25 percent supported by a robust net interest margin, and an efficiency ratio below 50 percent. This acquisition will supplement Valley’s existing Westchester County lending operations, and add a strong low-cost core funding base in the market.

Based on Valley’s closing stock price on June 28, Westchester’s stockholders will receive approximately $210 million in Valley common stock.

This strategically compelling acquisition fills in a geographic gap within Valley’s metro New York franchise, and will meaningfully enhance Valley’s presence and growth opportunities within the densely populated, affluent and commercially active Westchester County market.

Ira Robbins, Valley’s Chairman, President and CEO, commented, “Under John Tolomer’s leadership, Westchester has evolved into a high-performing and growth-oriented commercial bank in a desirable market. Westchester’s conservative credit culture and high-touch approach to commercial banking align extremely well with Valley’s own value proposition.”

He also said, “We look forward to having John and his team join Valley where they will continue to drive growth in the Westchester County market that they know so well. The ability to offer Valley’s comprehensive suite of financial solutions to Westchester’s commercial customers, along with the support of our larger balance sheet and significant capital resources, should drive meaningful growth for Valley in the Westchester County market. We are excited to support John and his team in the next evolution of their company as a part of the Valley family.”

John Tolomer, President & CEO of Westchester, said, “We are thrilled about our new partnership with Valley and the opportunities for growth that it will provide for our employees and customers. The infrastructure and culture that has been built at Valley over the past few years will enable our customers to access a robust product offering while still receiving access to the local decision making and exceptional service, they have become accustomed to at The Westchester Bank.”

Following the closing, Tolomer will join Valley as Market President leading Valley’s Westchester County efforts.

On a pro-forma basis as of March 31, 2021, the combined company’s balance sheet would have $43 billion of assets, and $34 billion of each loans and deposits. The addition of Westchester’s seven branches will bring Valley’s branch count to 233 comprised of 131 in New Jersey, 45 in New York, 41 in Florida, and 16 in Alabama. Valley has a track record of successfully integrating acquisitions in a way that minimizes customer disruption and delivers profitable growth while maintaining strong credit metrics and a well-capitalized balance sheet. Integration risk in the transaction is mitigated by Westchester’s relative size and Valley’s familiarity with the Westchester market, where pre-acquisition loan balances are already over $425 million.

The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to standard regulatory approvals, approval of Westchester stockholders, as well as other customary conditions. An investor presentation with additional information about the transaction can be found on Valley’s website at

Covington & Burling LLP acted as legal counsel to Valley. Raymond James & Associates, Inc. served as financial advisor to Westchester, and Goodwin Procter LLP served as its legal counsel.

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