Nicolet buying Mackinac Financial | BankBeat

Green Bay, wis.-based Nicolet Bankshares is acquiring Mackinac Financial Corporation and its subsidiary mBank, both based in Manistique, Mich., for $248 million.

The combined company will have $6.1 billion in assets, $5.2 billion in deposits and $3.9 billion in loans, with Mackinac making up about a quarter of those assets. The $1.5 billion mBank currently has 21 branches in northern Michigan, including its Upper Peninsula, and seven in northern Wisconsin.

While customer-facing staff are expected to keep their jobs, the Nicolet branch in Eagle River, Wis., will merge with an mBank location in the same city, the banks said in a press release. Post-merger, Mackinac Chair and CEO Paul Tobias will join the boards of Nicolet Bankshares and Nicolet National Bank.

Paul Tobias

“We have found a strategic partner that is a true community bank with deep commitments to the markets we serve,” Tobias said. “The market cultures of our respective organizations mesh well, and the greater lending access will strengthen our value to current and prospective customers.”

The deal, expected to close in the third quarter, is approximately 80 percent stock and 20 percent cash. Mackinac shareholders will receive 0.22 shares of Nicolet’s common stock and $4.64 per share. 

The estimated transaction value is a 1.69 multiple of Mackinac’s tangible book value as of December 31, 2020 and equates to approximately 18.3x Mackinac’s 2020 earnings per share.

Bob Atwell

“Nicolet always takes the long view when it comes to acquisitions,” said Bob Atwell, CEO of the $4.5 billion Nicolet. “This deal with Mackinac represents a unique and sizable opportunity to expand Nicolet’s franchise across a greater northern footprint, while at the same time, being highly accretive to long-term shareholder value. It also opens up the possibility for future expansion into the state of Michigan, if and when the opportunity arises.”

Nicolet currently has 35 offices in Wisconsin and one in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Hovde Group, LLC provided a fairness opinion to the Board of Directors and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP served as legal counsel to Nicolet in this transaction. Piper Sandler & Co. served as financial advisor and delivered a fairness opinion to the Board of Directors of Mackinac, and Honigman LLP served as Mackinac’s legal counsel.

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