GALLIPOLIS — Jackson-based Oak Hill Financial Inc. will be purchased by WesBanco Inc. for about $201 million in cash and stock to boost WesBanco’s presence in Ohio markets.
The sale is expected to be complete by the end of this year, officials with WesBanco, headquartered in Wheeling, W.Va., and Oak Hill Financial said in a joint announcement.
Oak Hill Financial is the parent company of Oak Hill Banks, which operates a branch office at 500 Third Ave., Gallipolis.
The announcement was made on Friday by WesBanco President and Chief Executive Officer Paul M. Limbert, Chairman of the Board James C. Gardill, Oak Hill Financial’s chairman of the board, John D. Kidd, and Oak Hill Financial’s president and CEO, Ralph E. Coffman.
“Our affiliation with WesBanco will maintain a level of local decision-making through employee and management retention while providing an enhanced product and service array,” Kidd said. “That leads to shareholder value and improved opportunities for our employees. In our markets, supporting our local communities while providing a larger regional presence will continue to differentiate us from our super-regional competitors.”
Kidd added that WesBanco’s future vision “fit extremely well with our own business plan and our desire to maintain our strong reputation and community standing.”
At completion of the merger, Kidd is expected to join the WesBanco board of directors along with Donald P. Wood, D. Bruce Knox and Neil S. Strawser.
Oak Hill Financial had consolidated assets of $1.3 billion, deposits of $958 million, loans of $1 billion and shareholders’ equity of $95 million as of June 30, 2007. WesBanco had consolidated assets of $4 billion, deposits of $3 billion, loans of $2.8 billion and shareholders’ equity of $406 million, the Jackson County Times-Journal reported in its Sunday edition.
WesBanco will exchange a combination of its common stock and cash for Oak Hill common stock, with shareholders having a choice of 1.256 shares of WesBanco common stock or cash in the amount of $38 per share for each share of Oak Hill common stock held (subject to the overall allocation of 90 percent stock and 10 percent cash in the exchange), according to the Times-Journal.
Shareholders who opt for the WesBanco common stock are anticipated to qualify for a tax-free exchange.
WesBanco expects the combination to be close to “break-even” in 2008 and add more than 2 percent to the to 2009 earnings per share, a Reuters dispatch said.
Staffing will be subject to a “thorough review” in the next several months, Limbert said, adding that officials are optimistic service will continue “with as little employee disruption as possible.”
“Retaining key employees and ties to the communities served by Oak Hill will be important to our ability to effect a smooth transition for Oak Hill customers,” Limbert said.
At the announcement, Oak Hill Financial’s closing stock price jumped nearly 10 points from 23.30 on Thursday to 33.05 on Friday.