BILLINGS, Mont. — First Interstate BancSystem, Inc., parent company of First Interstate Bank, and Great Western Bancorp, Inc., parent company of Great Western Bank, announced they have entered into a definitive agreement under which the companies will combine in an all‐stock transaction.
Under the terms of the agreement, which was unanimously approved by both companies’ Boards of Directors, Great Western Bank will merge into First Interstate Bank and the combined holding company and bank will operate under the First Interstate name and brand with the company’s headquarters remaining in Billings, Montana. First Interstate will maintain a strong presence in Great Western Bank’s headquarters of Sioux Falls.
The combined company leverages the strengths of both organizations, creating a diversified, community-focused banking franchise. Once the conversion is complete, First Interstate will be one of the region’s largest financial institutions, with over $32 billion in assets and more than 300 branches across 14 states.
“This is a transformative moment for our 53-year-old company,” said First Interstate Bank President and CEO Kevin Riley. “The strategic and cultural alignment between our organizations is what makes this transaction so exciting, as we both pride ourselves on being community banks with a strong focus on relationship building, customer service, and community outreach. We are eager to expand our community banking model into eight new states and look forward to building relationships with the employees and clients who call these beautiful regions home.”
Pending regulatory and shareholder approvals, the transaction is expected to close during the first calendar quarter of 2022. The conversion of GWB branches to First Interstate Bank is expected to take place during the second calendar quarter of 2022.
“We’re excited to join forces, and confident that both companies’ stakeholders will benefit from this partnership,” said Mark Borrecco, Great Western Bank President and CEO. “We’ll be able to offer customers access to additional branch locations and new products and services, provide new growth and professional development opportunities to our employees, deliver additional returns to our shareholders, and have an even greater impact on our communities.”
Upon close of the transaction, five directors from Great Western Bank will join the First Interstate Bank Board of Directors.
“Throughout our many years of ownership, we have prided ourselves on the ability to stay true to our values and roots while simultaneously adapting, innovating, and responding to the unique needs of our clients and communities,” said Jim Scott, Director of the Board for First Interstate Bank and son of First Interstate’s founders, Homer Scott, Sr. and Mildred Scott. “This combination is an extension of our legacy in the region where our family’s roots began. It increases the Bank’s community commitment while expanding our brand of community banking.”
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