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National Bank of Commerce, Republic Bank to Merge

Updated: July 08, 2019 06:16 PM

Two longtime Twin Ports banks are merging.

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National Bank of Commerce and Republic Bank announced their plans Monday.  Once the transaction receives federal approval, Republic Bank will become part of National Bank of Commerce.

A news release announcing the merger said it will ensure that more local dollars remain in the region and allow the two banks to combine their strengths.

"National Bank of Commerce has the opportunity — in fact, the responsibility — to stitch together the fabric of our community, and make it even stronger," said Steve Burgess, President and CEO of NBC, in a news release. "Our goal is better, not bigger. Dave Gaddie and his team are well-respected in the community and we look forward to having the Republic team join the NBC team.  This merger presents us with the opportunity to take the best of both organizations and provide superior services as one. Together, we will be able to make even more possible for our customers and our community."

Burgess says currently National Bank of Commerce owns 49 percent of Republic Bank. They will now be aquiring the last 51 percent. He says Republic Bank was looking to sell and that they "did not want to see Republic Bank become a regional or national bank owned outside of the community." 

Burgess added that National Bank of Commerce has had a strategic plan over the last couple of years to become a billion dollar bank. He says buying Republic Bank will allow them to do that.

"We are so excited about the opportunity to work with Republic Bank folks. Republic Bank is an outstanding financial institution in the community as are we, and combined we can do even more and make more happen within the Twin Ports," said Burgess.

As a result of the merger, both banks will now be named National Bank of Commerce. In total, six locations are going to be changing their name, including locations in Esko and Hibbing.

Burgess says they are going to do their best to retain jobs, but he implied there will be some job loss. 

The price of the transaction is not being disclosed as Burgess says it is a "private transaction between two private companies." Burgess also says they do not have any plans right now to close any branches. 

The transaction is expected to be complete sometime between October and December of this year.

Republic Bank was founded by frozen food entrepreneur Jeno Paulucci, who began a legacy of community investment.  National Bank of Commerce says that legacy will continue.

"My late father Jeno and mother Lois lived and breathed the local community," said Mick Paulucci, one of Jeno’s three children, in a news release.  "That commitment is one of the many wonderful things they taught us. That’s why it was paramount that ownership of Republic Bank went to a trusted, steady and stable organization which would carry on the Paulucci legacy. We chose National Bank of Commerce because they are the Twin Ports largest community bank and a bank committed to serving this area."

Combined, the banks have a dozen locations in the Northland.  National Bank of Commerce has two locations in Superior and one each in Duluth, Hermantown, Poplar, and Solon Springs.  Republic Bank has four locations in Duluth and one each in Esko and Hibbing.

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