Two Montana banks to merge

Eagle Bancorp Montana, Inc., is purchasing First Community Bancorp, Inc., and its subsidiary, First Community Bank.

The merger, expected to close by the end of this year, has been unanimously approved by the board of directors for both companies and is awaiting approval from bank regulatory agencies along with First Community and Eagle shareholders. Headquartered in Glasgow, Mont., First Community has $374 million in total assets, nine branches and two LPOs, including commercial-focused branches in Helena and Three Forks, Mont.

The acquisition is the fourth which Eagle Bancorp, the holding company of Opportunity Bank of Montana, has undertaken since 2017 and its largest to date. Upon completion of the acquisition, Opportunity Bank of Montana will have more than $1.7 billion in pro forma assets, $307 million in deposits, $220 million in gross loans and 32 retail branches in Montana. 

Peter J. Johnson, president and CEO of Eagle, said the merger will allow First Community Bank customers more product offerings, increased lending limits, and an expanded branch delivery system throughout the state. Once the merger is complete, First Community President and Chair Sam Waters will join the boards of Eagle and Opportunity Bank of Montana. Kris Simensen, CEO of First Community Bank, will serve as the northeast Montana regional market president. 

“We are thrilled to welcome First Community, and its employees to the Eagle team,” Johnson said. “First Community is an experienced agriculture and commercial lender with a 130-year operating history in Montana and deep roots in the communities it serves. This transaction expands our presence across the state of Montana and builds on our reputation as an experienced and preferred agricultural lender across the state.” 

Under the agreement, First Community shareholders will receive 37.7492 shares of Eagle common stock and $276.32 in cash for each share of First Community common stock. In aggregate, First Community shareholders will receive 1,396,721 shares of Eagle common stock, $10.2 million in cash for an estimated transaction value of $41.3 million.

Eagle was represented by Nixon Peabody LLP as a legal advisor and D.A. Davidson & Co. as financial advisor. First Community was represented by Ballard Spahr LLP as legal advisor and ProBank Austin as financial advisor.