Stearns Bank Holdingford National Association to be Acquired by Canadian-Based VersaBank to Expand VersaBank’s Banking Services to the United States
Posted on: Jun 14, 2022
St. Cloud, Minn. (June 14, 2022) – Stearns Financial Services Inc. (“SFSI”) today announced it has signed a definitive agreement with VersaHoldings US Corp. to acquire Stearns Bank Holdingford N.A. (“SBH”) and launch VersaBank’s expansion into the United States. Canadian-based VersaBank, a leader in digital banking and cyber security solutions, is acquiring SBH through its wholly owned US subsidiary, VersaHoldings US Corp, for an estimated US$13.5 million (subject to adjustment at closing).
Upon closing, SBH will be renamed VersaBank USA. SFSI and its subsidiaries, Stearns Bank National Association and Stearns Bank Upsala National Association, continue to expand its nationwide lending and deposit services, achieving the highest IDC ratings available and national recognition among the highest-performing banks in the nation. Stearns Bank continues to build upon its partnership strategy and explore additional new delivery channels and technology opportunities through its collaborative partnership with VersaBank.
“For over forty-five years, Stearns Bank has proudly served the strong and vibrant Holdingford area, and we are excited to continue to do so in our partnership with VersaBank and surrounding locations” said Heather Plumski, president of Stearns Bank Holdingford N.A. “It speaks volumes that our Canadian neighbor, VersaBank, has chosen Holdingford as the best location to launch its U.S.-based banking and financing. VersaBank shares our values and culture, and we’re confident VersaBank will be welcomed with open arms in Holdingford when the community gets to know our Canadian partner.”
“This acquisition represents a transformational next step in VersaBank’s long-term growth strategy,” said David Taylor, president and CEO, VersaBank. “We have built a tremendously successful digital banking operation in Canada, providing innovative, technology-based solutions to serve unmet needs, which has driven outsized earnings growth. Now, with acquisition of US-based SBH, we will have a platform from which to replicate that success in the Western world’s largest banking market.”
Taylor added, “It has been a pleasure working with the team at SFSI and we look forward to exploring future opportunities for collaborations to our mutual benefit.”
Kelly Skalicky, president and CEO of Stearns Financial Services, Inc. expressed her enthusiasm for the partnership with VersaBank, “Congratulations to Holdingford on its continued growth and for attracting VersaBank for its U.S. expansion plan. David and the VersaBank team are terrific and proving to be a perfect partner – together, we will deliver even more to our local communities and beyond.”
Closing of the acquisition is subject to regulatory approval in both the U.S. and Canada.
About Stearns Bank N.A.
Minnesota-based Stearns Bank National Association is a $2.3 billion, independently-owned financial institution with locations in Minnesota, Florida and Arizona, and over 35,000 small business customers nationwide, in every state across the U.S. Recognized as having a bullet-proof balance sheet with more than 20% capital and earning top rankings as one of the nation’s highest-performing banks by American Banker, and most recently ranked ninth in the U.S. among banks having more than $1 billion in assets by Independent Banker’s May 2022 Best of the Best ranking of banks with the highest 3-year average Return on Assets, Stearns Bank specializes in nationwide commercial construction lending, USDA and SBA lending, and small business and equipment financing. Driven by a passion to help others achieve their greatest ambitions, Stearns Bank mission is to Get the Job Done! For more information, visit StearnsBank.com.
VersaBank is a Canadian Schedule I chartered bank with a difference. VersaBank became the world’s first fully digital financial institution when it adopted its highly efficient business-to-business model using its proprietary state-of-the-art financial technology to profitably address underserved segments of the Canadian banking market in the pursuit of superior net interest margins while mitigating risk. VersaBank obtains all of its deposits and provides the majority of its loans and leases electronically, with innovative deposit and lending solutions for financial intermediaries that allow them to excel in their core businesses. In addition, leveraging its internally developed IT security software and capabilities, VersaBank established wholly owned, Washington, DC-based subsidiary, DRT Cyber Inc. to pursue significant large-market opportunities in cyber security and develop innovative solutions to address the rapidly growing volume of cyber threats challenging financial institutions, multi-national corporations and government entities on a daily basis.
VersaBank’s Common Shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and on Nasdaq under the symbol VBNK. Its Series 1 Preferred Shares trade on the TSX under the symbol VBNK.PR.A.