Chicagoland banks combine

Old Second Bank, Aurora, Ill., will acquire ABC Bank, Chicago, for $41.1 million. The transition is expected to close before the end of the second quarter.

“ABC Bank’s four offices and more than a century of service in the Chicago market are a great complement to our existing footprint,” said James Eccher, president and CEO of Old Second.

The $350.4 million ABC is viewed as an important boost for the $2.6 billion Old Second’s ability to compete in the Windy City.

“Chicago is an interesting market right now,” said Brad Adams, Old Second’s chief financial officer. “You’ve got a few very big banks that are headquartered here and then you’ve got a ton of very small banks and there is not much in the middle. Old Second is certainly in the middle. The size of lenders we can work with wouldn’t be quite as valued by some of the larger institutions around town and maybe can’t be supported by some of the small. So, I think that there is a niche that we benefit from just because of what market conditions in Chicago have come to. And that’s what we’re trying to take advantage of.”

Eccher said banks in the region have struggled to fill their ranks in a highly competitive employment market. Merger activity increases the bank’s profile among prospective talent.

“It is driving a lot of new relationships and having an additional four locations with the ABC acquisition will only help us further recruit talent,” Eccher said. “So, as our story becomes more and more compelling, our size gives us an advantage for those looking for a little smaller institution that also has a lot of upside.”