The Bank of Maine to pull out of The County, sell branches to Machias Savings Bank

Posted July 22, 2013, at 6:55 p.m.

MACHIAS, Maine — Machias Savings Bank said Monday it plans to purchase six bank branches in northern Maine from The Bank of Maine, and has plans to close three of them.

The Machias-based bank will acquire The Bank of Maine branches in Caribou, Fort Kent, Houlton, Lincoln, Mars Hill and Presque Isle.

A total sale price is not being disclosed, according to Renee Smyth, a spokeswoman for The Bank of Maine.

As part of the transaction, Machias Savings Bank will assume nearly all the $75 million in deposits the six branches held as of June 30, certain business and consumer loans associated with the branches and the corresponding real estate, according to a news release.

“Adding these branches is a natural expansion of our existing footprint, providing us with greater branch density in northern Maine,” Larry Barker, president and CEO of Machias Savings Bank, said in a statement. “I have great confidence customers and employees will experience a smooth transition.”

Machias Savings Bank currently has 14 branches. Its branch in Houlton is its only branch in Aroostook County.

After the acquisition, Machias Savings Bank plans to close the former Bank of Maine branches in Fort Kent, Houlton and Mars Hill, according to the news release.

“Customers of these branches will be serviced by other conveniently located Machias Savings Bank branches and its broad array of electronic banking services,” the news release states. “Machias is committed to working with those customers for a smooth transition.”

“It was a strategic decision that we’ve made,” Traci Sanborn, a spokeswoman for Machias Savings Bank, told the Bangor Daily News.

Expanding to Caribou and Presque Isle “is a very good fit for what are current banking strategies are,” she said.

Sanborn said less than 10 employees will be affected by the closures, and that they will be eligible for positions at its other branches in Aroostook County.

Following the acquisition, Machias Savings Bank will have two branches in Lincoln, both of which it plans to keep open, Sanborn said.

The acquisition is still subject to regulatory approval. Assuming the necessary approvals are received, the banks expect the sale will close in the fourth quarter of 2013, Smyth said.

The Bank of Maine currently has 33 branches throughout the state, Smyth said.

In a statement, John Everets, CEO of The Bank of Maine, said the sale of the six branches “will allow The Bank of Maine to focus on its remaining branches in mid and southern Maine.”

Customers of The Bank of Maine in northern Maine will begin to receive communication about the impending sale in the next several weeks, according to the press release.

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