On Friday, Columbia Financial Inc., the holding company for Fair Lawn-based Columbia Bank, announced it entered a definitive merger agreement with the holding company for the full service commercial bank, Stewardship Financial Corp., for an aggregate consideration of about $137 million. Having already been unanimously approved by both company’s board of directors, the deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions.
Columbia Bank said it expects in incur one-time, pre-tax transaction expenses of about $14 million.
As of March 21, Stewardship’s total assets were $961 million with $747 million in loans and $784 million in deposits, according to Columbia.
Paul Van Ostenbridge, who has served as president and chief executive officer for Stewardship since 1997, will join the Columbia and Columbia Bank board of directors upon closing. A board member from Stewardship will also be selected by Columbia Bank Foundation to serve on its board, the financial institution said.
“Our companies share common values with a strong culture focused on relationships and serving our communities, making this combination a perfect partnership,” said Thomas Kemly, Columbia’s president and CEO, in a statement. “We greatly admire the philanthropic support Stewardship provides through its tithing program and the Columbia Bank Foundation, one of the largest private charitable foundations in New Jersey, is proud to continue various aspects of Stewardship’s charitable mission.
“We believe the merger represents a significant step towards profitably deploying capital we raised in our public offering and is a great fit with our growth plan,” Kemly added.
Investment banking firm Boenning & Scattergood Inc. advised Columbia in the transaction. The company was represented by the law firm of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP. Stewardship was advised by investment banking firm Sandler O’Neill + Partners LP and represented by the law firm of McCarter & English LLP.