Heartland Financial USA to buy AIM Bancshares

Lynn B. Fuller

Dubuque, Iowa-based Heartland Financial USA, Inc.,  is acquiring AIM Bancshares, Inc., and its subsidiary AimBank, both of Lavelland, Texas, for $280.4 million.

The $1.8 billion AimBank has about $1.2 billion in net loans and $1.5 billion in deposits as of December 31.  The bank has 19 branches in west Texas and six branches in northeastern New Mexico.

After the acquisition, AimBank will merge into Heartland’s Lubbock, Texas-based subsidiary, FirstBank & Trust, which has $1.1 billion assets and branches in west Texas. It will create Heartland’s largest subsidiary, with assets of almost $3 billion and 33 branches.

“We are highly impressed with the people and performance of AimBank and the solid community banking franchise they have built,” said Lynn B. Fuller, executive operating chairman of Heartland. “We strongly believe in the growth prospects of the Texas market, and I am confident that AimBank will be an outstanding addition to the Heartland organization.”

Scott Wade, AimBank’s chair and CEO will join FB&T as vice chair and president of FB&T’s south division.

“We at FirstBank & Trust are extremely excited about the opportunity to join forces with AimBank,” said Barry H. Orr, chair CEO of FB&T.  “We have immense respect for Scott Wade and his team of talented bankers. … We are very fortunate to be joining two talented teams of local commercial banking professionals and staff with an excellent knowledge of the communities and the clients they serve.”

Heartland entered the Texas market in 2018 through its acquisition of FB&T. Following close of the AimBank deal early in the third quarter, Heartland will have about $15 billion in assets with 140 full-service banking locations operating in 12 states.

In connection with the transaction, Panoramic Capital Advisors, Inc. served as financial advisor and Stephens Inc. issued a fairness opinion to the Heartland Board of Directors and Dorsey & Whitney LLP served as Heartland’s legal counsel. Hillworth Bank Partners served as financial advisor and issued a fairness opinion to ABI and Fenimore, Kay, Harrison, & Ford, LLP served as ABI’s legal counsel.