Camp Hill bank to merge with Delmarva peer

Camp Hill-based LinkBancorp has struck a deal that will extend its footprint into Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia.

  • The bank said yesterday it has agreed to a “merger of equals” with Partners Bancorp, a Salisbury, Maryland-based bank with a long history in the Delmarva region.
  • The all-stock deal is valued at $167.8 million, according to a press release.
  • “This is a great deal for both parties and it certainly creates a major franchise in the Mid-Atlantic area,” Andrew Samuel, CEO and vice chairman of LinkBancorp, said in an interview.
  • Samuel, who helped launch LinkBancorp in 2018, would be CEO of the merged institution, which is expected to take the LinkBancorp name.

Why is this happening: LinkBancorp, which does business as LinkBank, has been looking to expand southward since raising more than $30 million in capital last year.

  • The merger with Partners adds branches in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia.
  • The combined bank would have about 30 branches overall, more than 250 employees and roughly $3 billion in assets, Samuel said.
  • LinkBancorp’s last merger was its 2021 union with GNB Financial Services, the Dauphin County-based parent of The Gratz Bank.
  • LinkBank now has 10 branches in Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin and Lancaster counties, as well as a loan office in York County.
  • The bank had assets of $1.16 billion as of Dec. 31.

What is Partners: The bank traces its roots to the 1896 founding of The Bank of Delmarva

  • Partners now operates two main subsidiaries, The Bank of Delmarva and Virginia Partners Bank, which was established in 2008. 
  • Based in Seaford, Delaware, The Bank of Delmarva has 11 branches in Delaware and Maryland, as well as three South Jersey branches operating as Liberty Bell Bank
  • Based in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Virginia Partners Bank has three offices in Fredericksburg and one in Reston.
  • It also has a branch and a loan production office in Maryland that operate as Maryland Partners Bank. The branch is in La Plata, while the loan office is in Annapolis.
  • Virginia Partners holds a controlling interest in Johnson Mortgage Co. LLC, a residential mortgage lender based in Newport News, Virginia, with offices in Fredericksburg and Williamsburg.
  • Partners had total assets of $1.57 billion as of Dec. 31.

What’s the deal. Under the terms of the proposed merger, shareholders of Partners would receive shares in LinkBancorp.

  • As a result, Partners shareholders would own 56% of the merged company, with LinkBancorp shareholders holding the remaining 44%.
  • The board would have 22 members: 12 from LinkBancorp and 10 from Partners. 
  • The chair would be Joseph Michetti Jr., LinkBancorp’s current chair.
  • The vice chair would be Jeffrey Turner, current chair of Partners. Turner would become chair in September 2024.
  • The merged bank would operate under the LinkBank name with headquarters in Camp Hill.
  • Executives at Partners would head up regional markets in Delmarva, Northern Virginia and Greater Fredericksburg.
  • LinkBancorp’s execs — including LinkBancorp president Carl Lundblad and LinkBank president Brent Smith — would stay in their roles.
  • Stephens Inc. is the financial adviser for LinkBancorp. Its legal adviser is Luse Gorman PC.
  • Piper Sandler & Co. is the financial adviser for Partners, while Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP is the legal adviser

What’s next: The banks have scheduled a conference call to discuss the  proposed merger at 10 a.m. on Feb. 23.

  • The merger is expected to close in the third quarter this year, pending regulatory and shareholder approvals,


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