Peoples Bancorp has signed a definitive agreement to acquire community bank holding company Premier Financial Bancorp in an all-stock deal valued at nearly $292.3m.

Headquartered in Huntington, West Virginia, Premier is the parent company of Premier Bank and Citizens Deposit Bank & Trust.

The combined company will have around $6.7bn in total assets with 136 branch locations.

Transaction Details

As agreed, Premier shareholders will receive 0.58 shares of Peoples common stock for each share. The merger is expected to qualify as a tax-free reorganisation for Premier shareholders.

The deal is expected to close during the third quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory green light and shareholders’ approvals.

Once the transaction completes, both the Premier’s subsidiaries will merge with and into Peoples Bank.

Through its two subsidiaries, Premier operates 48 branches in thirty-eight communities across five-states, plus Washington D.C.

As of 31 December 2020, Premier had around $1.9bn in total consolidated assets.

Peoples president and CEO Chuck Sulerzyski said: “We are excited about our partnership with Premier and the addition of significant scale to enhance our ability to drive future growth and improved profitability.

“Premier’s strong core franchise provides a natural extension of our existing markets, as well as entry into attractive markets within Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.”

Premier president and CEO Bob Walker said: “Our customers, employees and shareholders will benefit from Peoples’ history of profitable growth and expertise in successfully executing acquisitions.

“We are also excited about Peoples’ expansive suite of products, which will provide us the ability to deliver new products and services, including insurance and investment products, to our valued customers in the communities we serve.”