Associated gets go-ahead on acquisition

Associated Bank’s first acquisition in more than a decade has received regulatory approval, the Green Bay, Wis., bank announced Tuesday. Associated agreed to purchase Bank Mutual Corporation in mid-July for $482 million. Both the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve Board needed to sign off on the merger, which will increase Associated’s size to $32.7 billion in assets.

“The acquisition of Bank Mutual provides significant opportunity to increase our Wisconsin presence and improve the scale of our operations,” Associated President and CEO Philip Flynn said when the deal was first announced. “Ultimately, this positions us to gain efficiencies while also making investments to better support the customer experience.”

With the regulatory hurdle cleared, Associated expects to close the deal Feb. 1 and merge Bank Mutual into Associated Bank late in the second quarter or early in the third quarter.

Associated last completed an acquisition in 2007, when it purchased First National Bank of Hudson, Wis.