Bremer Financial Corporation, holding company of Bremer Bank, announced recently that it has agreed to acquire Eastwood Bank in Rochester. Eastwood has over $675 million in assets, 13 bank locations and more than 185 employees throughout Southeast Minnesota. Pending regulatory approval, the acquisition will close on January 23, 2015, when all Eastwood Bank branches become Bremer Bank locations. Terms were not disclosed.
“We are excited to bring together two outstanding financial services organizations that are committed to superior client service and strengthening our communities,” said Bremer’s Midwest Group President Greg Hilding. “Since 1903, Eastwood has been meeting the banking and financial services needs of individuals and businesses in Southeast Minnesota. We are pleased to expand into these vibrant Minnesota communities.”
“We have carefully considered what is best for our shareholders, customers, communities and employees, and we believe the decision to become part of the Bremer organization is the right choice for meeting the best interests of all of these groups,” said James Talen, Chairman of Eastwood Bank. “I have great respect for Bremer and its senior leadership, and trust in their ability to compete and grow in this ever-changing financial services industry. The vision and values that guide Bremer are very compatible with those that Eastwood has held for more than 100 years.”
In the combined organization, Brad Peters, Bremer Bank’s Southeast Minnesota Region CEO, will oversee the Eastwood Bank locations and current Eastwood President Paul Tieskoetter will report to Peters. Peters has over 30 years experience in banking in Southcentral and Southeast Minnesota. James Talen and David Talen, President of Eastwood Financial Corporation, the holding company of Eastwood Bank, will remain with the combined organization through 2015 to assist with the transition.
“We are fortunate to have developed a partnership with an organization of strong integrity and similar values,” added Peters. “Bremer Bank is honored that Eastwood has selected us as a trusted business partner to build on its banking legacy.”
Bremer currently has nearly 2,000 employees and 85 bank branches in communities across Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. The organization offers a comprehensive range of banking, investment, trust and insurance services.
“This partnership is part of Bremer’s overall expansion strategy of entering new markets, making acquisitions and recruiting top talent. We have been working on our expansion initiatives since 2011 and since then have opened up new bank locations in Owatonna, Mankato, Bismarck, N.D., and La Crosse, Wis.,” said Hilding. “We also broke ground recently on a new bank in Eau Claire, Wis. In each new community we strive to provide exceptional service, build longlasting relationships and support community needs.”
About Bremer Financial Corporation
Bremer Financial Corporation is a privately held, $8.7 billion regional financial services company jointly owned by the Otto Bremer Foundation and Bremer employees. Founded in 1943 by Otto Bremer, the company provides a comprehensive range of banking, investment, trust and insurance products and services throughout Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin.
About Eastwood Bank
Eastwood Bank has been serving customers in Southeast Minnesota since 1903 and is locally owned and operated. As of May 31, 2014, the bank held $675 million in assets and employed more than 185 people at 13 locations in Southeast Minnesota.