Central Bancshares, Inc. (CBI) of Muscatine, Iowa, and Walcott Trust and Savings Bank, (WTSB) based in Walcott, Iowa, have jointly announced the signing of an agreement whereby CBI will acquire WTSB. Neither CBI nor WTSB disclosed details of the terms of the transaction. They anticipate that they will complete the transaction by the end of 2019, subject to regulatory approval. 


 Founded in 1893, WTSB has total assets of approximately $130 million. It serves a primary market area of Scott and northeast Muscatine Counties in Iowa through two locations, 101 West Bryant Street in Walcott and 2322 East Kimberly Road in Davenport.


 CBI, a privately held parent company, consists of two subsidiary banks, CBI Bank & Trust, based in Muscatine, Iowa, and F&M Bank, based in Galesburg, Illinois. On a combined basis, they serve approximately 32,000 households and businesses through fourteen banking centers, with locations in Coralville, Davenport, Kalona, Muscatine, Washington, and Wilton in Iowa, and Brimfield, Buffalo Prairie, Galesburg, and Peoria in Illinois. After completion of the transaction, Central Bancshares will have total assets in excess of $1 billion.


 The boards and executives of both companies believe that the transaction will create a strong partnership, bringing together two compatible, community-oriented banking enterprises.

“It’s a great opportunity and excellent fit for both organizations,” said Clemens “Cal” Werner, Jr., President of WTSB. “Our customers can rest assured that there is a strong commitment to not only continue providing the same safe, stable banking environment that they’ve grown to know and trust, but in addition, to be able to offer additional services to our customers.”


 That sentiment was reinforced by Greg Kistler, President and CEO of CBI. “We are excited to partner with Walcott Trust and Savings Bank,” Kistler said. “They share our core philosophy of community banking: empowered local management and employees dedicated to serving our customers and communities.”


 “After the acquisition is completed, customers will not see any immediate changes,” Kistler added. “The bank will continue to operate under the WTSB name, at the same locations, supported by the same friendly officers and staff. In short, it will be business as usual, along with the financial strength and resources of a larger parent organization.”


 Cummings & Company, LLC served as financial advisor and Fredrikson & Byron, P.A. served as legal counsel to CBI in connection with the transaction.