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NorthWest Indiana Bancorp to acquire Illinois bank

Munster-based NorthWest Indiana Bancorp has inked a deal in which it will merge with AJS Bancorp, Inc., and acquire its subsidiary A.J. Smith Federal Savings Bank, both of Midlothian, Ill., in a stock and cash transaction worth $34.6 million.

Established in 1924, A. J. Smith Federal Savings Bank has $191.8 million in assets and serves the Chicagoland metropolitan market with three offices.

“I am proud to announce the signing of a definitive agreement for our second acquisition, in less than six months, in the Chicagoland market,” said Benjamin Bochnowski, president and CEO of the $1.1 billion NWIN. “Our strategic goal has been to build a physical presence in that market, and, upon completion, this acquisition will give us six full-service banking centers in south suburban Chicagoland.”

Just last week, NWIN completed its acquisition of First Personal Financial Corp., Orland Park, Ill. That deal pushed the previously $936 million Indiana holding company over the $1 billion threshold. It gave NWIN’s Peoples Bank a foothold in the Chicago market with three branches its south suburbs. First Person CEO Randy Schwartz joined Peoples at that time to oversee systems and cultural integration.

The deal is expected to close in first quarter 2019. NWIN expects the merger to be approximately $0.25 accretive to 2019 earnings per share (excluding one-time deal related charges), approximately 0.8% dilutive to tangible book value at closing, and expects the tangible book value earnback to be approximately 2.2 years using the cross-over method.

NWIN was advised by Stephens Inc. and Barnes & Thornburg LLP as legal counsel. AJSB was advised by, and received a fairness opinion from, Keefe Bruyette & Woods, and was advised by Luse Gorman, PC as legal counsel.