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FNB to expand in Ohio with $106M acquisition

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By Thomas Olson
Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, 10:53 a.m.
 

FNB Corp., the Pittsburgh region's third-largest bank, said Tuesday it will acquire Park View Federal Savings Bank in Ohio for $106.4 million — a deal that will expand its presence in the Cleveland market.

The all-stock transaction is the second acquisition in four months for the parent of First National Bank. It underscores a push by the bank to grow its retail banking business, which is concentrated in Western Pennsylvania, and beef up its commercial lending operations.

“I'd expect we'll continue to grow, provided the deals meet the criteria we have,” such as return on capital, CEO Vincent Delie Jr. said in a phone interview. “We're looking across our footprint, in eastern Ohio, across Pennsylvania and in eastern Maryland.”

FNB, based in Hermitage, Mercer County, has more than 250 branches in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. The deal would add 16 Park View branches in the Cleveland area. Delie said that all 16 likely will remain open but an unspecified number of administrative jobs will be cut.

Park View, which has 200 employees, ranks among the top 15 banks in the Cleveland market by total deposits, but it is dwarfed by such players as Key Bank, PNC Bank and Huntington National Bank.

“FNB has competed well against PNC in Pittsburgh, so they will do fine in Cleveland,” said Matthew Schultheis, an analyst at Boenning & Scattergood in West Conshohocken.

FNB, which will add Park View's $782 million in assets to its $12 billion, announced a deal in late October to acquire Annapolis Bancorp Inc., an eight-branch bank in eastern Maryland.

It acquired Parkvale Savings Bank of Monroeville in January 2012, which added about 40 branches in Western Pennsylvania.

“The Cleveland and Annapolis deals are exactly the types of deals FNB should be doing. They are not swinging for the fences, but grinding it out with singles and doubles,” said Matthew Breese, an analyst at Sterne Agee & Leach in Portland, Maine.

About 95 of First National Bank's branches are in the seven-county Pittsburgh area. The bank operates three branches in the Cleveland market,

The transaction, which has been approved by both banks' boards, is expected to be completed in the third quarter, pending approval by regulators and stockholders of Park View parent PVF Capital Corp.

Park View had been under a regulatory order from 2009 until mid-2012 because of bad loans and other credit-quality issues. But “those problems are over,” said Breese, and FNB was “very conservative” in how it valued Park View's loan portfolio.

The “main driver” behind the Park View deal was FNB's prospects for commercial lending in Cleveland, Delie said. He had been a corporate banker for Cleveland-based National City Bank before its 2008 acquisition by PNC.

Delie said the bank will hire commercial bankers in Cleveland and expand Park View's offerings with wealth management and insurance products and services.

“We have done a number of (merger) transactions; it's really a core competency,” said Delie. “Parkvale is a prime example, where we consolidated 17 branches and still grew our deposits.”

Thomas Olson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7854 or at tolson@tribweb.com.

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