Mid Penn Bank to buy Miners Bank of Schuylkill County

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Mid Penn Bancorp Inc. has agreed to buy Phoenix Bancorp Inc., the Schuylkill County-based parent company of Miners Bank, for about $14.5 million.

The Millersburg-based company, the holding company for Mid Penn Bank, will pay to the shareholders of Phoenix either 3.167 shares of Mid Penn or $51.60 in cash for each share they own.

The combination of the banks will create one bank company with about $875 million in assets.

Miners Bank, which opened in Minersville in 1935, has four branches -- in its home borough, in Tremont and Frackville in Schuylkill County and in the Hazleton area in Luzerne County.

Mid Penn already has one branch in Schuylkill County as one of its 14 locations, but this will be the bank’s first entry into Luzerne County.

The Miners branches will come under the Mid Penn name when the deal is closed. It’s expected to be finalized during the first quarter of 2015.

Mid Penn President and CEO Rory Ritrievi said that, even with the acquisition, the bank remains well-capitalized. However, he said there likely wouldn’t be any more Mid Penn expansions until this one is finalized.

“We’re focused on (the Miners acquisition),” he said. “We’re excited about it, and we want to make sure this goes right for their customers and employees, and for our customers and our employees. We’re not thinking anything beyond that right now.”

Ritrievi said the acquisition isn’t that much different from other current merger stories of community banks. Larger community banks like Mid Penn looking for growth are choosing the acquisition route lately, and smaller banks that can’t keep up financially with costly new regulation and technology are realizing that to give customers what they’re looking for, they have to merge with a larger bank.

“There is absolutely no doubt about that,” Ritrievi said. “All of those things cost money, but you can’t pass that cost on to your customers or your employees. We’ve already paid for those (technologies), which makes it very easy to bring Miners customers into the fold.”

Mid Penn Bancorp Inc. trades on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol MPB.

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