Published in Finance

Community Shores shareholders approve merger with ChoiceOne, deal to close in Q4

BY Wednesday, June 17, 2020 05:02pm

SPARTA — The planned $21.9 million merger of Community Shores Bank Corp. into ChoiceOne Financial Services Inc. heads to a close after earning shareholder approval.

Shareholders at Muskegon-based Community Shores Bank approved the deal on Wednesday. The two banks will consolidate in the fourth quarter with Community Shores taking on the ChoiceOne name.

ChoiceOne CEO Kelly Potes COURTESY PHOTO

“Our shareholders gave us an impressive vote of confidence today,” Gary Bogner, chairman of the board at Community Shores, said in a statement. “Both ChoiceOne Bank and Community Shores Bank have deep roots in West Michigan. This merger will enhance our impact on the local community, as well as combine our service cultures and ChoiceOne’s advancements in products and technology to better serve our customers.”

The Sparta-based ChoiceOne Financial Services, the parent company of ChoiceOne Bank, was already looking to expand into the lakeshore market when the opportunity arose in 2019 to acquire Community Shores.

ChoiceOne presently has 29 offices in West and Southeastern Michigan with about $1.5 billion in assets. Community Shores has about $220 million in total assets with three offices in Muskegon County and one in Grand Haven in neighboring Ottawa County.

“The positive shareholder response we received today validates the substantial opportunity we see for our collective communities, customers, and employees while adding significant value for the shareholders of our two organizations,” ChoiceOne CEO Kelly Potes said. “We believe our combined companies will result in one exceptional company presenting efficiencies and new growth opportunities in our expanded network across Michigan.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Community Shores shareholders have the right to receive an amount equal to $5 in cash or 0.12161 shares of ChoiceOne stock for each of their shares.

Once the deal closes, Community Shores President CEO Health Brolick will become chief human resources officer for ChoiceOne Bank. Brent McCarthy, senior vice president and chief lending officer at Community Shores, will take on the role of ChoiceOne’s Muskegon market executive, and John Essex Jr., a director at Community Shores, will join the ChoiceOne Bank board of directors.

“ChoiceOne is a like-minded community bank with a vision to be the best bank in Michigan. With our similar cultures, values and commitments to our local communities, we expect limited overlap and disruption,” Brolick said.

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