Republic Bank expands its Cincinnati footprint with the acquisition of CBank

By Hayley Robb, Building Kentucky

Republic Bank headquarters is located in Louisville.

Republic Bank announced it will acquire Cincinnati-based CBank and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Commercial Industrial Finance, Inc. (“CIF”).  CIF, which is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, provides equipment leasing and financing to businesses nationwide.

Under the terms of the agreement, Republic will acquire all of CBank’s outstanding common stock in an all-cash direct merger of CBank with Republic Bank, resulting in a total cash payment of approximately $51 million to CBank’s existing shareholders. Republic expects to fund the cash payment with existing resources on hand at Republic Bank.

As of September 30, 2022, CBank had total assets of approximately $271 million with total gross loans of approximately $214 million and total deposits of approximately $240 million. Upon the full completion of the merger, Republic Bank will have six banking centers in the Cincinnati metropolitan area and 43 banking centers throughout Republic Bank’s entire network in five states.

“Dean Meiszer, CBank’s founder and CEO, and its distinguished Board of Directors led by Larry Sheakley, have spent 15 years building a first-class team and a top-tier community-focused bank,” said Logan Pichel, Republic Bank President & CEO. “We believe the combination of our existing high-performing, community-minded team in Greater Cincinnati with CBank’s team will create an unparalleled financial services organization in the market that is second to none. In addition, the acquisition of CIF will greatly expand our existing leasing operations and provide a national footprint for these services.  I look forward to working closely with Dean during and after the merger to make it a seamless transition for CBank’s and CIF’s clients and associates.”

“This opportunity for CBank to combine with Republic Bank — one the highest performing and most community-oriented financial institutions in the Midwest and Southeast — is extremely exciting,” CBank’s CEO Dean Meiszer said. “CBank’s notable and well-established track record in commercial lending and private banking will be further strengthened by this merger with Republic Bank. Republic Bank’s larger capital base and resources will provide larger loan opportunities for our customers and prospects, and a greater depth of products and services for our expanding client base. I am eager to work with Republic Bank’s talented team to provide exceptional community banking service.”

With the completion of the merger, Meiszer will consult Republic Bank on merger integration, customer relations, incremental product roll outs and business development.

Tom Saelinger, Republic Bank’s Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Market President will lead the combined Greater Cincinnati operation which will have a substantial presence with market assets exceeding $627 million.

“As a lifelong native of the Greater Cincinnati area, I have a tremendous amount of pride in Republic Bank’s commitment and success in the region,” Saelinger said. “Our cultural fit, complementary banking services, and the commitment to superior client service of the two combined organizations will form a strong foundation for a successful merger. I look forward to working with CBank’s renowned team of bankers to build on the strong momentum we have already established in the market and further contribute to the economic growth of our region.”

Scott Hawkins, CIF President and CEO, will continue to lead this business unit.  

“This merger fits nicely both in terms of like cultures, shared objectives and capital needed to fuel our growth,” Hawkins said. “The real winners here are our current and future customers, as well as our diverse portfolio of manufacturers, distributors and vendors of assorted medical, commercial, IT and energy related equipment. The tenured team at CIF is equally excited to take their company to the next level.”

The completion of the transaction, expected to close in Q1 2023, is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval and approval by CBank’s shareholders.

Piper Sandler & Co. served as financial advisor and Frost Brown Todd, LLC served as legal counsel to Republic. Raymond James Financial, Inc. served as financial advisor and Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP served as legal counsel to CBank.

“Republic Bank is well-known throughout its footprint for its commitment to the communities it serves, and our combined teams will provide even more of an opportunity to make an impact here in our community,” Saelinger said.

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