Bankwell Financial Group makes first foray into New Haven County with
Quinnipiac Bank & Trust acquisition
By Luther Turmelle, New Haven Register
A small Fairfield County bank is acquiring Quinnipiac Bank & Trust Co. in
a $15 million deal engineered by former New Alliance Bank head Peyton
Patterson is president and chief executive
officer of the New Canaan-based Bankwell Financial Group, the holding
company for Bankwell Bank, which has six branches and a loan origination
office in Fairfield County. Bankwell has signed an agreement to acquire
Quinnipiac Bank & Trust in a deal that involves both cash and stock.
The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of this year and has been
approved by both banks’ boards of directors. The merger agreement between
the banks calls for 25 percent of Quinnipiac’s shares to be exchanged for
$12 in cash or $3.6 million in aggregate, according to Bankwell officials.
The remaining 75 percent of Quinnipiac Bank & Trust shares will be exchanged
Bankwell shares, with Quinnipiac Bank & Trust shareholders getting 0.56
share of Bankwell stock for each one of theirs.
In addition, Quinnipiac shareholders may elect to receive cash, stock or a
combination of both, subject to the terms of the merger agreement.
“With Quinnipiac’s excellent reputation, it will provide a strong foundation
upon which to build our presence in the surrounding New Haven markets,”
Patterson said. “Together, we will continue to be the hometown bank serving
the local community, but with a far greater array of services to offer local
individuals and businesses.”
Patterson is well-known in New Haven business circles as a hard-driving
banking executive who the New Haven Savings Bank hired in 2002, after that
financial institution’s leader Charles Terrell resigned as chairman in
November 2001 because he was dying of cancer.
A year later, she had engineered a deal to take ownership of the bank from
its local depositors, convert it to a publicly traded company and use more
than $1 billion in proceeds from the initial stock offering to buy two other
Connecticut banks. In 2010, Patterson engineered another deal: the $1.5
billion sale of NewAlliance to First Niagara Financial of Buffalo, N.Y.
After First Niagara merged NewAlliance into its network of branches.
Paterson left with a $16 million executive exit package. Her conversion of
New Haven Savings from a mutual savings institution to a commercial bank and
NewAlliance’s subsequent sale to First Niagara drew stinging criticism from
then-New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. and community group leaders.
She returned to Connecticut banking in 2012, taking over as chief executive
officer at BNC Financial, which was a forerunner of Bankwell.
The deal will mark Bankwell’s first foray into New Haven County and add
approximately $100 million in assets to the Fairfield County bank, bringing
its assets to $880 million as of the most recent reporting period.
Mark Candido, Quinnipiac’s president and chief executive officer, and Dick
Barredo, the Hamden-based bank’s executive vice president and chief lending
officer, will remain with Bankwell in senior positions after the transaction
Candido said in a statement that he is excited about Bankwell’s “increased
capacity to lend, which will have an impact on the communities we serve.”
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