CEO ThomasShara approached HarmonyBank CEO Michael Schutzer in late May 2015 at the New JerseyBankers Association conference in Nashville, Tenn., about Oak Ridge, N.J.-basedLakeland's interest in potentially engaging in a business transaction withJackson, N.J.-based Harmony Bank, according to a Form S-4 filed April 1.
On July 21,2015, Lakeland, through Raymond James, executed a confidentiality agreementwith Harmony Bank and shortly thereafter, Harmony Bank provided Lakeland withcertain financial information.
At aHarmony Bank board meeting held the following day, Schutzer advised the boardthat Shara apologized for an expected delay by Lakeland in its pursuit of apossible transaction caused by another transaction that Lakeland was workingon. Schutzer also indicated that Shara had consulted with Lakeland's regulatorsabout the possibility of Lakeland engaging in either simultaneous orback-to-back acquisitions.
At an Aug.12, 2015, Harmony Bank board meeting, Raymond James representatives advised theboard that Lakeland was still very interested in pursuing Harmony Bank andcould focus on Harmony Bank now that Lakeland had its acquisition of PascackBancorp.
On Sept.23, 2015, a meeting was held wherein the parties discussed the one-time costsand potential cost savings of a transaction. No specific price was discussed.
Shara onOct. 23, 2015, indicated that Lakeland was still interested in exploring apossible transaction with Harmony Bank, but was unable to do so at that time asLakeland was focused on its then-pending, and previously announced, acquisitionof Pascack.
Lakelandclosed its of Pascack onJan. 7. More than a month after, on Feb. 18, Lakeland and Harmony Bankannounced theirproposed merger,which involves an exchange ratio of 1.25 Lakeland common shares for eachHarmony Bank common share outstanding.