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Nicolet easily beat 3 rivals for First Menasha

The board of Neenah, Wis.-based First Menasha Bancshares Inc. decided that a merger transaction would best benefit its shareholders amid rising expenses due to heightened regulatory burden.

With the help of Stephens Inc., First Menasha began evaluating potential partners for a transaction. Four companies were deemed to be potential acquirers, including Green Bay, Wis.-based Nicolet Bankshares Inc.

The four companies were contacted. On Sept. 28, initial indications of interest were received from them.

Eventually, First Menasha decided to move forward with Nicolet, which offered the highest purchase price among potential acquirers.

From Oct. 4 through the beginning of November, Nicolet and First Menasha, along with their respective legal advisers, engaged in extensive due diligence and negotiated the terms of the merger agreement. The two companies announced their proposed merger Nov. 4.