RONAN – One of the Mission Valley’s longest-standing institutions, Community Bank, opened for business Monday morning as a part of Glacier Bancorp Inc., a regional bank holding company headquartered in Kalispell.
Glacier announced its completed acquisition of Montana Community Banks and its subsidiary, Ronan-based Community Bank, on Sunday. Glacier Bancorp calls itself “a company of banks” and now provides commercial banking services in 82 communities in six states.
Ronan’s Community Bank was started in 1910, the same year the Flathead Indian Reservation was opened to homesteaders.
The $25 million deal was split almost evenly between cash and Glacier common stock. It was Glacier’s 16th acquisition since 2000 and its fourth in the past two years.
No reduction in workforce is anticipated, according to Glacier Bancorp President and CEO Mick Blodnick, although he said some titles or job descriptions could change.
“Missoula has a lot of banks moving in and we’re playing a lot of defense, making sure we don’t lose people,” Blodnick said in a telephone interview from Orlando, Florida, where he is attending a banking conference. “That’s a bigger concern.”
Blodnick said Glacier is also in the process of evaluating its plans for the multiple facilities it now has in both Missoula and Polson.
Community Bank has eight banking offices located in Missoula, Ronan, Polson and Pablo. The Missoula branches will become a part of Glacier’s First Security Bank division. The Ronan, Polson and Pablo branches will be absorbed by the Glacier Bank division.
In a Feb. 25 letter to its customers, Community Bank said that while its banks would officially become a part of First Security or Glacier banks on March 1, a final conversion, including name change, will not happen until June 15.
Glacier is likely to sell its facility on the east end of the Armed Forces Memorial Bridge and consolidate its Polson business in Community Bank’s larger, newer facility at 50510 U.S. Highway 93, according to Blodnick.
You have free articles remaining.
“It’s a lot bigger than the one at the bridge, and there’s adequate room for us there,” he said. “We’ll probably keep our (Glacier Bank) downtown drive-through, and keep the (Community Bank) branch at the supermarket (Super 1 Foods), too.”
The acquisition also adds three Community Bank branches to the eight locations First Security Bank already has in Missoula.
“Missoula is more up in the air,” Blodnick said. “We’re still evaluating, although we’ll probably keep their large facility, the one out by Costco.”
It’s only a couple of blocks from a First Security location on Great Northern Way, but Blodnick said a growing need for space for information technology services could keep that property in the mix as well. Community Bank also has locations downtown and on Missoula’s Southside, and no decision has been made about them, Blodnick said.
The acquisition gives Glacier Bancorp assets of more than $8.5 billion. Community Bank’s assets were listed at $175 million when 2014 came to a close.
In addition to First Security and Glacier banks, Glacier Bancorp operates Valley Bank of Helena, Big Sky Western Bank in Bozeman, Western Security Bank in Billings, First Bank of Montana in Lewistown, as well as multiple banks in Washington, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado.
Glacier Bank was chartered in Kalispell in 1955, and Glacier Bancorp’s many acquisitions in the past 20-plus years have made it “either the largest in the state, or one that’s real close,” Blodnick said. “It’s always between First Interstate and ourselves, depending on where we’re both at when each quarter ends.”
Blodnick said the latest expansion by Glacier Bancorp was a chance to add a bank with a proven track record over the past 105 years.
“Of all the banks we have acquired, I don’t regret a one,” Blodnick said. “They’ve all done what we hoped, and I believe Community Bank will do the same. I’m looking forward to it.”
Blodnick has been president and CEO for 17 years. He plans to retire at the end of 2016.