The business combination is expected to strengthen the position of WSFS as a strong local bank in the Greater Philadelphia and Delaware region
US bank holding firms Bryn Mawr Bank and WSFS Financial have reached a definitive agreement to merge in a transaction valued at around $976.4m.
Under the terms of the agreement, Bryn Mawr stockholders will receive 0.90 shares of WSFS common stock, for each share of Bryn Mawr common stock held.
The transaction price per share equates to an implied value of $48.55 for Bryn Mawr stockholders, based on the closing price of WSFS stock as of 9 March 2021.
In relation to the merger, Bryn Mawr Trust (BMT), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bryn Mawr, will merge into WSFS Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of WSFS.
WSFS chairman, president and CEO Rodger Levenson said: “This combination aligns with our strategic plan. Combining with Bryn Mawr allows us to accelerate our long-term strategic objectives, including scale to continue to invest in our delivery and talent transformations.
“This combination also creates the premier wealth management and trust business in the region and the sixth largest bank-affiliated wealth management and trust business nationwide under $100 billion in assets.
“Together, we are poised and positioned to continue to serve and outperform for all our constituents, and to deliver sustainable high performance for years to come.”
The business combination is expected to strengthen the position of WSFS as a strong local bank in the Greater Philadelphia and Delaware region.
With the merger, WSFS becomes the only bank in the region with advantages including market knowledge, local decision-making, full-service product suite and balance sheet.
The firm targets consolidating around 30% of the combined banking offices due to geographic overlap and optimisation opportunities within the network.
Also, it expects a pre-tax merger and restructuring costs of around $127m and aims to achieve annual cost synergies of about $73m, once fully phased in by 2023.
Upon closing of the transaction, Bryn Mawr president and CEO Frank Leto will be appointed as a member of the WSFS Financial and WSFS Bank boards of directors.
The transaction is expected to be closed early in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to customary approvals by regulators and stockholders of both companies.
Piper Sandler & Co. served as a financial advisor, and Covington & Burling as legal counsel to WSFS, while Keefe, Bruyette & Woods served as a financial advisor, Squire Patton Boggs as legal counsel to Bryn Mawr.
Bryn Mawr president and CEO Frank Leto said: “We strongly believe in the value creation by combining with WSFS and enhancing the strengths of our institutions.
“This is a sound decision for Bryn Mawr, our stockholders, our Clients and the communities we serve. We are combining with WSFS because it is an established institution with deep roots in the region and the utmost focus on doing the right thing for our clients.”