A Dubuque-based banking operation is merging with a similar group of banks in California. The deal is designed to expand the Iowa company’s position on the West Coast.
Heartland Financial USA is acquiring Founders Bancorp of San Luis Obispo, Calif., for around 29-million dollars in cash and stock. The deal is expected to close during the first quarter of 2017. Heartland Chairman and CEO Lynn Fuller says the market on the Pacific Ocean halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco is economically strong.
“I know a lot of the folks in that area talk about that region becoming the Napa and Sonoma Valley for wine production,” he says.
Fuller calls the merger a perfect fit for his company’s community banking business model.
“Our core is small-and-medium-sized-business commercial lending, he says, "backed up with solid treasury and commercial credit card business, private client services.”
The agreement involves four banks in San Luis Obispo County and will bring Heartland’s holdings to 112 banks in 12 states.