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Levy County’s only locally owned banks — Drummond Community Bank in Chiefland and Perkins State Bank in Williston — have signed an agreement to merge in the first quarter of 2013.
The new bank, with a presence in five counties, will carry the Drummond Community Bank name. Luther Drummond, president of Drummond, will remain as president and CEO while Frank Etheridge, president of Perkins, will serve as area president of the combined bank.
The announcement that Drummond Banking Co., parent company of Drummond Community Bank, and Williston Holding Co., parent company of Perkins State Bank, will merge was made last Thursday evening in a joint press release by Drummond and Etheridge.
The merger is subject to customary conditions, including the approval of the Williston Holding’s shareholders and bank regulators.
Shareholders of Williston can elect to receive Drummond common stock or cash in exchange for their shares, subject to election and proration procedures. Under terms of the definitive agreement, the transaction is valued at $14.6 million, subject to adjustment. A portion of the purchase price may be payable after the transaction is completed based on the disposition of certain assets of Williston and Perkins State Bank.
This combination will create a larger, well-capitalized community bank with a growing market presence in five counties, according to the press release. The combined bank will have assets approaching $400 million, deposits of more than $310 million, and nearly $200 million in loans, with capital and reserves totaling more than $45 million.
The merger of the only locally-owned banks in Levy County will bring together thousands of depositors and borrowers who prefer community banking.
Both bankers agree this partnership provides a solid foundation to ensure that the advantages of personalized community banking in the hands of capable local owners, remain available to residents of the five-county region served by the banks well into the foreseeable future.
Drummond Community Bank ranks among the best capitalized banks in Florida. Throughout the past 22 years, the bank has generated its strong capital position with above average returns.
Perkins State Bank, one of the oldest banks in Florida, founded in 1913, is approaching its 100th anniversary of providing community banking services to Levy and Alachua counties.
“Drummond Community Bank has many things in common with Perkins State Bank,” Drummond said. “We share the same values such as our commitment to superior customer service and our commitment to the community.
“We both are dedicated to providing our customers world-class financial management in a community-bank atmosphere.”
Drummond added, “We are going to build our combined banks into one of the premiere community banks in Florida.”
Etheridge said, “The merger of these two sound community banks will create an enduring banking alliance enabling us to continue our long standing safe-banking traditions in Williston, Chiefland and in all of the important communities we serve.”
Etheridge continued, “We are committed to maintaining our strong customer service brought to you by the people you know.”
Drummond, which is headquartered in Chiefland, also has offices in Cedar Key, Trenton, Cross City, Bell, Old Town and Mayo.
Perkins, which is headquartered in Williston, has offices in Chiefland, Bronson, Inglis and Archer.