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First Interstate Completes $2B Merger with Great Western Bancorp

February 04, 2022, 07:12 AM
Filed Under: Mergers & Acquisitions

First Interstate BancSystem, Inc. (FIBK), parent company of First Interstate Bank, announced it has completed its previously announced merger with Great Western Bancorp, Inc. (GWB), parent company of Great Western Bank. The combined holding company will operate under the First Interstate name and brand with the company’s headquarters remaining in Billings, MT.

"This is a historic day for our 54-year-old company,” said Kevin Riley, FIBK President and CEO. “We are excited for this partnership with Great Western and believe our expansion into this new footprint will continue to build shareholder value over the long-term. As a result of this transaction, First Interstate truly becomes the premier community banking franchise in the West.”

Immediately following the closing, Great Western Bank merged with and into First Interstate Bank. Great Western Bank branches will continue to operate under the Great Western Bank name as a division of First Interstate Bank. The conversion of bank systems and branches is expected to occur in May. After this conversion, Great Western Bank branches will be branded as First Interstate Bank branches.

Karlyn Knieriem and Scott Erkonen will join the combined holding company as Chief Risk Officer and Chief Information Officer, respectively. In addition, five directors from GWB have joined the combined holding company’s board of directors:

  • James Brannen
  • Frances Grieb
  • Thomas Henning
  • Stephen Lacy
  • Daniel Rykhus

The following executives will be departing the Company following the closing:

  • Mark Borrecco (President and Chief Executive Officer, GWB)
  • Peter Chapman (Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, GWB)
  • Andy Pederson (Chief People Officer, GWB)
  • Donald Straka (General Counsel and Secretary, GWB)
  • Steve Yose (Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer, GWB)

In accordance with the definitive agreement, GWB stockholders received .8425 shares of FIBK Class A common stock for each GWB share they owned. The implied total transaction value based on closing prices on Sept. 15, 2021, is approximately $2.0 billion.

Over the coming months, FIBK will provide GWB clients with comprehensive information relating to the conversion of their accounts in May 2022. Until then, FIBK and GWB clients will continue to be served through their respective branches, websites, and mobile apps.

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, a Stifel Company, served as lead financial advisor to FIBK. Barclays also served as a financial advisor to FIBK, and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP served as FIBK’s legal advisor. Piper Sandler & Co. served as GWB’s exclusive financial advisor and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz served as legal advisor to GWB.

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