With shareholders’ approval, Stewardship Financial expects to close the merger transaction by the end of this year

Columbia Financial

Image: Stewardship Financial shareholders approval merger with Columbia Financial. Photo: Courtesy of rawpixel/Pixabay

Stewardship Financial, the parent company of Atlantic Stewardship Bank, has received shareholders’ approval for its previously announced merger with Columbia Financial, the holding company of Columbia Bank.

The shareholders of Stewardship Financial approved the deal by voting 98% in favour of the merger. As the deal can now move forward, Stewardship expects that the closing of the deal could take place this quarter.

Stewardship Financial is being acquired for $137m

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Stewardship shareholders will receive $15.75 in cash for each share of the company held, totaling to $137m.

Established in 1985, Stewardship’s subsidiary Atlantic Stewardship Bank operates 12 banking offices in northern New Jersey. The bank offers full-service commercial banking services to individuals, businesses and their communities.

As of this March ending, Stewardship had total assets of $961m, loans of $747m and deposits of $784m.

At the time of the announcement of the deal, Columbia Financial president and CEO Thomas Kemly said: “We are pleased to announce the strategic combination of the two banks, both of which are strong community banks dedicated to serving their local communities.  Our companies share common values with a strong culture focused on relationships and serving our communities, making this combination a perfect partnership.

“We greatly admire the philanthropic support Stewardship provides through its tithing program and the Columbia Bank Foundation, one of the largest private charitable foundations in New Jersey, is proud to continue various aspects of Stewardship’s charitable mission.

“We believe the merger represents a significant step towards profitably deploying capital we raised in our public offering and is a great fit with our growth plan.”

After the completion of the transaction, Atlantic Stewardship Bank will merge into Columbia Bank. Stewardship president and CEO Paul Van Ostenbridge will join the board of directors of Columbia and Columbia Bank. A board member of Stewardship will be selected by the Columbia Bank Foundation to serve on its board of directors.