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AmTrust sells five Columbus branches to WesBanco

WesBanco Inc. of West Virginia will soon become one of the ten largest banks in Central Ohio when it acquires all five of AmTrust Bank’s Columbus branches.

AmTrust is selling the branches to WesBanco for $20.9 million.

According to the FDIC, AmTrust is presently the 10th largest bank in Ohio, having 36 branches and $5.7 billion in deposits. WesBanco is Ohio's 14th largest bank, with 63 branches and $1.7 billion in deposits.

WesBanco will assume all the deposits and buy the buildings, equipment and property, but it will not acquire any loans as part of the deal. The sale price is 3.5 percent of the $601 million in deposits that AmTrust had at the branches as of January 16. Both companies' boards of directors have approved the deal. The transaction will likely close in March following regulatory approval.

The infusion of money is expected to help AmTrust meet increased capital-ratio requirements imposed by the U.S. Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) last November. The OTS questioned AmTrust's lending practices and ordered the bank not to issue more no-documentation loans. AmTrust has been trying to raise capital through the federal government's bank rescue program and private investors but so far hasn't been successful.

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Attorney Spotlight

William T. Repasky practices with the Litigation Department at Frost Brown Todd. He focuses on lending and commercial services; banking litigation and financial institutions.

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