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Fintech company, Midwest credit union were among AJS Bancorp's suitors

In its search for a partner, Illinois-based AJS Bancorp Inc. attracted several suitors, including a Midwest credit union and a fintech company.

In April, the CEOs of AJS and the credit union discussed in general how a credit union might acquire a bank. But the credit union withdrew from the process May 8.

The fintech company was not a regulated entity and had not discussed the potential deal with bank regulators. On May 25, it said it would not move forward in the process because it was not granted exclusivity in negotiations.

The process saw two front-runners: NorthWest Indiana Bancorp and another Midwest financial institution.

NorthWest Indiana's May 18 nonbinding indication of interest involved consideration equal to $15.50 per AJS common share, equating to an aggregate implied purchase price of about $33.6 million, payable 50% in stock based on a fixed exchange ratio and 50% in cash.

In the other suitor's indication of interest, each AJS stockholder would receive $17.83 in cash for each share held.

On June 15, AJS received revised bids. In NorthWest Indiana's revised indication of interest, each AJS stockholder would receive merger consideration of $15.90 per share comprised of 55% stock and 45% cash, equating to an exchange ratio of 0.2017 of a NorthWest Indiana common share and $7.15 in cash for each outstanding AJS common share. Based on a $43.36 NorthWest Indiana stock price, the 20-day volume weighted average, the deal was valued at about $34.5 million.

In the other company's revised bid, each AJS stockholder would get $15.95 per common share in cash, valuing AJS at about $34.7 million.

Both suitors were contacted to see if either party would increase their proposal. NorthWest Indiana revised its bid, while the other suitor declined.

NorthWest Indiana on June 20 submitted a revised written nonbinding indication of interest proposing merger consideration of $16.00 per AJS share comprised of 55% stock and 45% cash, equating to an exchange ratio of 0.2030 share of NorthWest Indiana common stock and $7.20 in cash for each outstanding AJS common share. AJS stockholders with fewer than 100 common shares would get cash consideration of $16.00 per share. Based on the same $43.36 NorthWest Indiana stock price, the deal was valued at nearly $35 million.

NorthWest Indiana and AJS announced their proposed transaction July 31.