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Report: Choice Financial to buy Venture Bank

Choice Financial Holdings Inc. of Fargo, N.D., is acquiring Bloomington, Minn.-based Venture Bank, the (Minneapolis) Star Tribune reported Feb. 19.

Choice Financial Holdings is the parent company of Choice Financial Group, a bank that had $1.25 billion in assets at the end of 2017. Venture Bank, meanwhile, is a Venture Bancshares Inc. subsidiary with $729.0 million in assets.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed. For reference, SNL valuations for bank and thrift targets in the Midwest between Feb. 19, 2017, and Feb. 19, 2018, averaged 157.49% of book, 163.15% of tangible book and had a median of 18.93x last-12-months earnings, on an aggregate basis.

Venture Bank President Michael Zenk and COO Gwen Stanley will stay on and reinvest in the resulting entity. The acquisition allows Choice to diversify its agricultural and energy book, according to the publication, and enter the Twin Cities market, which Zenk will head. In Minnesota, Choice will enter Dakota County with one branch, to be ranked ninth with a 2.74% share of approximately $6.64 billion in total market deposits; Hennepin County with two branches, to be ranked No. 15 with a 0.34% share of approximately $111.05 billion in total market deposits; and Ramsey County with one branch, to be ranked No. 21 with a 0.11% share of approximately $53.34 billion in total market deposits.

The parties expect to secure regulatory approval for the deal in the second quarter.

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