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Eaton Federal Savings Bank and SSBBank to Merge

Friday, February 23, 2018  
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Eaton Federal Savings Bank, Charlotte, Michigan and Stockbridge Bancorporation, Inc., Stockbridge, Michigan together announce the signing of a definitive agreement and plan of merger.  Under the terms of the agreement, SSBBank, Stockbridge Bancorporation’s wholly-owned subsidiary, will merge with Eaton Federal Savings Bank.  

The merger, expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2018, is subject to customary conditions, including the approval of the Stockbridge Bancorporation shareholders and bank regulators.  Shareholders of Stockbridge Bancorporation will receive cash in exchange for their shares.  Pricing and other terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The combined banks will operate under the Eaton Federal name. Founded in 1937, Eaton Federal currently operates five branches—four in Eaton County and one in Barry County. With the merger, it will add two more branches, extending its market area east into Ingham and Livingston counties.  Eaton Federal is structured as a mutual savings bank meaning it is owned by its customers, not shareholders.

“Both banks think alike, namely in our devotion to customer service and our conviction that community banking is good for mid-Michigan,” says Tim Jewell, president of Eaton Federal Savings Bank. “This merger gives community banking a stronger foundation in the region.”

“We are grateful to the community for its support over the past century and more,” says SSBBank Chairman and CEO J. Benjamin Dancer, great-grandson of W.J. Dancer, who founded SSBBank (originally chartered as Stockbridge State Bank) in 1908. “It has been a privilege serving the financial needs of our customers, and we are delighted they will continue to experience the benefits of community banking under the Eaton Federal name.”

The combined banks will have assets approaching $360 million, deposits of more than $280 million and loans of over $225 million.  Eaton Federal maintains the highest 5-Star rating for strength and stability from Bauer Financial Inc., the nation’s leading bank rating firm.

When the banks combine operations, Eaton Federal will operate seven branches—its five existing branches in Charlotte, Eaton Rapids, Grand Ledge, Nashville and Olivet plus two former SSBBank branches in Gregory and Stockbridge.  The current SSBBank branch in Eaton Rapids will be absorbed into the Eaton Federal branch as the two are less than a mile apart.

Eaton Federal was advised by ProBank Austin with legal counsel from Bodman PLC. Stockbridge Bancorporation obtained a fairness opinion and legal counsel from Gerrish Smith Tuck, PC.

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