Southeastern Wisconsin financial service industry news
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Chicago company makes unsolicited bid on Quad/Graphics acquisition target
January 27, 2015 10:14 AM
Chicago-based multichannel communication company R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. has submitted an unsolicited proposal to acquire North Chelmsford, Mass.-based Courier Corp. for $23 per share in cash or R.R. Donnelley common stock.

The bid is higher than the acquisition price for Courier proposed by Sussex-based Quad/Graphics, which is valued at $20.50 per share in cash and stock, totaling $129 million in cash and approximately 4.8 million shares of its class A common stock.

Courier and Quad entered a definitive merger agreement on January 16 that received unanimous approval from both companies’ boards.

According to the SEC filing related to the merger, “Courier has also agreed not to solicit proposals relating to alternative business combination transactions or, subject to certain exceptions that permit Courier’s board of directors to comply with its fiduciary duties, enter into discussions concerning, or furnish non-public information in connection with, any proposals for alternative business combination transactions.”

According to that agreement, upon termination of the merger agreement to accept a superior proposal, Courier must pay Quad/Graphics a termination fee of $10 million.

R.R. Donnelley, which offers book manufacturing, publishing and content management, reported 2013 sales of $10.5 billion and has about 57,000 employees globally.

Courier is the second largest book manufacturer in the U.S. and a leader in content management and customization in both new and traditional media. Courier has about 1,600 employees, but Quad declined to comment on how its employees and locations would be integrated following the acquisition.

According to a statement from Courier’s board, it will carefully review and consider the R.R. Donnelley proposal and will have no further comment until that process is completed. It has not changed its recommendation in support of the acquisition by Quad.

Quad/Graphics CEO Joel Quadracci on Tuesday sent an email to employees acknowledging the competing bid and explaining the situation.

"Despite RR Donnelley’s proposal, we continue to believe that our offer provides a better long-term opportunity for Quad/Graphics and Courier shareholders, employees and customers in the book market. We will continue to stay disciplined in the use of our capital and move forward rapidly with our investment in new digital presses and integrated front- and back-end systems," he said in the email.

"With or without Courier, we will continue to focus redefining the entire book supply chain in partnership with our customers. Today’s announcement does not change our three-year strategy to transform our book platform."

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Robertson Ryan merges with Loyda and Walton agencies
January 27, 2015 10:18 AM
Milwaukee-based Robertson Ryan & Associates Inc. has merged with the Shorewood-based Jack C. Loyda agency and the Kewaunee-based Walton Insurance Associates Inc. in a non-cash transaction.

The two producers and four employees at the Loyda agency, which was located at 4414 N. Oakland Ave. in Shorewood, have moved into the Robertson Ryan office at 330 E. Kilbourn Ave. in Milwaukee.

The producer and two employees at the Walton agency will remain in their current Kewaunee offices, becoming the eighth Wisconsin Robertson Ryan branch.

The merger supports Robertson Ryan’s growth, said Gary Burton, chief operating officer. The personal, commercial and employee benefit insurance provider has 205 producers and employees, 195 of whom are in Wisconsin.

“It gave both of those agencies access to more insurance companies and other services that they can offer their clients,” Burton said.

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Waukesha State Bank opens new Waukesha branch
January 27, 2015 10:26 AM
Waukesha State Bank has opened a new freestanding branch at 1640 E. Main St. in Waukesha.

The 5,000-square-foot branch replaces the bank’s in-store branch at the Pick ’N Save at 1535 E. Moreland Blvd. in Waukesha, just a few blocks away.

All 15 employees have moved to the new branch, which opened on January 12, immediately after construction was finished.

The additional space will provide room for loan officers to meet with customers, and allows the bank to offer additional amenities, including safe deposit boxes. It’s also in a high-traffic area near a Culver’s restaurant and a Woodman’s grocery store.

"We're excited to provide customers with this new location, giving them easier access to the office," said Ty Taylor, president and chief executive officer of Waukesha State Bank. "We're looking forward to continuing to serve the Waukesha community with the same friendly, one-on-one, personalized approach to banking."

Waukesha State Bank has 14 branches in the area, five of which are in Waukesha.

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Economic Trends: Healthy banking industry continues to drive economic growth in Wisconsin
January 27, 2015 10:32 AM
Wisconsin's banking industry has turned a corner. In the wake of a years-long economic recession, banks are now well into recovery, and that is good for Wisconsin consumers. As a key driver of economic growth, Wisconsin's banking industry is uniquely positioned to keep the state moving forward and help businesses grow and families prosper.

Read more in an article by Rose Oswald Poels, president and chief executive officer of the Wisconsin Bankers Association, in the new Economic Trends issue of BizTimes Milwaukee. The issue also evaluates the 2015 outlook for a variety of other industries.

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Rexnord mill products business rights sold
January 27, 2015 10:36 AM
Milwaukee-based Rexnord Industries LLC has sold certain intellectual property rights related to its Falk Mill Products business to Helsinki, Finland-based Metso for an undisclosed price.

Metso is a process performance provider that develops solutions to improve the availability and reliability in minerals processing and flow control.

Metso will manufacture replacement mill and kiln gears and pinions for its customers using drawings and specifications from Rexnord. The company will make the replacement parts for those who purchased the Rexnord products through Metso and certain other end users.

Some Rexnord mill products specialists will join Metso to assist with the business.

"This acquisition is consistent with Metso's aim to continue being a complete supplier of replacement parts and service for our installed equipment,” said Andy Fritz, senior vice president, Comminution, Metso. “This added capability will increase Metso's ability to provide not only the replacement parts and services for open gearing, but also additional technical competence in gears and pinions and the quality requirements necessary to produce these components."

Rexnord is divided into two divisions: Process & Motion Control and Water Management. It has about 7,400 employees globally.

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Associated Banc-Corp reports higher 4Q, 2014 earnings
January 27, 2015 10:38 AM
Green Bay-based Associated Banc-Corp reported fourth quarter net income of $48.7 million, or 31 cents per share, up from $47.8 million, or 28 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Total revenue was $249 million, up from $248 million in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The bank’s net interest margin was 3.04 percent, down from 3.23 percent in the same period a year ago.

Associated’s provision for loan losses was $4.5 million, up 125 percent from the $2 million it allotted for loan losses in the fourth quarter of 2013. Net charge declined to $4.5 million, compared with $5.4 million in net charge offs in the same period a year ago.

Total nonperforming assets totaled $194.1 million, down from $203.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Full-year net income was $190.5 million, or $1.17 per share, up from $188.7 million, or $1.10 per share, in 2013.

Total revenue for 2014 was $991 million, up from $979 million in 2013.

“Overall we are pleased with this year’s financial results and accomplishments,” said Associated president and chief executive officer Philip Flynn. “We continued to grow our balance sheet, total revenues, and bottom line earnings. In addition, we have continued to make substantial investments in the bank, which will position us for the future while slightly reducing total expenses. We remain focused on opportunistic ways to deploy capital while delivering increased value to our shareholders. We are also happy to kick off 2015 with last week’s announcement regarding the acquisition of the insurance agency, Ahmann-Martin.”

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Glenroy acquires PF Flexibles from PolyFirst
January 27, 2015 10:40 AM
Menomonee Falls-based Glenroy Inc. recently acquired Hartford-based PF Flexibles, formerly known as Pouch Converting Technologies Inc., from Hartford-based PolyFirst Packaging Inc.

An employee of PF Flexibles confirmed the sale. In addition, Glenroy recently acquired a 40,000-square-foot industrial building at 1480 Independence Ave. in Hartford for $2.4 million, according to state records. That building is occupied by PF Flexibles.

A spokeswoman for Glenroy declined to comment on the company’s acquisition of the Hartford building.

Glenroy is a custom converter of flexible packaging film and provides wide web printed and unprinted packaging film roolstock and stand-up pouches. The company has more than 150 employees and 226,000 square feet of facilities in southeast Wisconsin.

PF Flexibles is a contract manufacturer of pre-formed pouches in the flexible packaging industry.

PolyFirst is a manufacturer of flexible packaging.

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Regional banks report strong 4Q results
January 27, 2015 10:46 AM
Chicago-based Northern Trust Corp. and Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp both reported fourth quarter earnings that beat analyst estimates.

Northern Trust reported fourth quarter net income of $244 million, or 98 cents per share, up from $169.7 million, or 70 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The increase in net income was partially attributed to a $9.5 million income tax benefit that resulted from the company’s decision to reinvest the pre-tax earnings of a foreign subsidiary outside the U.S. indefinitely.

Fourth quarter revenue was $1.1 billion, up from $1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013.

For the full year, Northern Trust reported net income of $811.8 million, or $3.32 per share, up from $731.3 million, or $2.99 per share, in 2013.

Northern Trust’s 2014 revenue was $4.3 billion, up from $4.1 billion in 2013.

U.S. Bancorp reported fourth quarter net income of $1.5 billion, or 79 cents per share, up from $1.47 billion, or 76 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The company attributed the net income increase to higher net interest income and fee-based revenue, as well as a gain related to an equity interest.

Fourth quarter revenue was $5.2 billion, up from $4.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013.

“We maintained our industry-leading performance measures, including return on average assets of 1.54 percent, return on average common equity of 14.7 percent, and an efficiency ratio of 53.2 percent for the full year of 2014,” said Richard Davis, chairman, president and chief executive officer.

For the full year, U.S. Bancorp reported net income of $5.9 billion, or $3.08 per share, up from $5.7 billion, or $3 per share, in 2013.

U.S. Bancorp’s 2014 revenue was $20.2 billion, up from $19.6 billion in 2013.

The company has also named Andrew Cecere to vice chairman and chief operating officer. The position had been unfilled since Richard Davis became chief executive officer in 2006. Kathy Ashcraft Rogers will succeed him as vice chairman and chief financial officer.

Cecere’s base salary will increase to $750,000, with eligibility for an annual bonus of 150 percent of his base salary. He has also received $5 million in annual long-term equity awards, 75 percent of which will be in the form of performance-based restricted stock units, and 25 percent of which will be in the form of nonqualified stock options.

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Heartland Financial completes acquisition of Community Banc-Corp
January 27, 2015 10:48 AM
Dubuque, Iowa-based Heartland Financial USA Inc., parent company of Madison-based Wisconsin Bank & Trust, has completed its previously announced acquisition of Community Banc-Corp., parent company of Sheboygan-based Community Bank & Trust, for $52.8 million in stock. Heartland has merged Wisconsin Bank & Trust with Community Bank & Trust.

All outstanding shares of Community Banc-Corp have been converted into Heartland common stock. The purchase price was paid through the issuance of about 1.97 million shares of Heartland stock to former Community Banc-Corp shareholders.

As of September 30, 2014, Community Bank & Trust had assets of $525 million, loans of $410 million and deposits of $429 million; Wisconsin Bank & Trust had assets of $665 million, loans of $509 million and deposits of $565 million. Heartland expects the transaction to be accretive to its earnings per share in 2015 and 2016, excluding one-time merger related expenses.

Wisconsin Bank & Trust now has 19 branches, including several in the Milwaukee area. Community Bank & Trust customers will be converted to the Wisconsin Bank & Trust computer system and signs will change at its branches in the spring.

“We continue to expand the Wisconsin Bank & Trust community banking business model across Wisconsin, and are pleased to enter Community Bank & Trust’s quality markets and serve more of the Sheboygan and the greater Milwaukee areas,” said Kevin Tenpas, president and chief executive officer of Wisconsin Bank & Trust. “We are also pleased to add a talented team of experienced commercial and personal banking professionals to our team under the leadership of Scott Moseley, who is continuing as regional market president. Community Bank & Trust leads the state in SBA loans by banks of its size and is the deposit leader in Sheboygan County.  We hope to preserve their strong presence in the community and their tradition of superior service, while expanding product offerings and the services we provide.”

“We believe our customers will continue to feel at home and benefit from this merger,” said Anthony Jovanovich, chairman and CEO of Community Banc-Corp. “They will have access to a wide selection of convenient financial products and services offered by Wisconsin Bank & Trust. Wisconsin Bank & Trust shares our community and service focus and is a great fit for our customers.”

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Workshop to address valuing your business
January 27, 2015 10:42 AM
BizTimes Media will host an interactive workshop designed to help business owners value their businesses and prepare them for sale.

The program, “What’s your business really worth—are you building a sellable company?” will be held on Thursday, Feb. 5, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Sheraton Hotel, 375 S. Moorland Road in Brookfield.

Experts will offer information, advice and tools to help business owners increase the value of their companies and prepare them for a sale or acquisition.

Joel Nettesheim, principal, and Nancy Mehlberg, manager, at SVA Certified Public Accountants, will explain the concept of a “sellability score.” Panelists Daniel Eder, president of Reliable Door and Dock Inc. and Jim Lindenberg, owner and president of Lindy Enterprises, JML Holdings and Legends of the Field, will discuss their firsthand experiences with selling their companies.

For more information or to register, visit

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New hires and promotions
January 27, 2015 10:23 AM

Ixonia Bank has hired Tom Pasch as vice president of business banking. He previously worked as a business relationship manager at Wells Fargo. Pasch studied business finance at Brown College. In his new role, he will provide customized financial solutions to local businesses.

Bank Mutual has hired Jessica Akright as marketing product manager at its corporate headquarters in Brown Deer. She previously served as marketing and events coordinator at Godfrey & Kahn S.C. in Milwaukee. Akright holds a bachelor’s in journalism with an emphasis in advertising and public relations from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. In her new role, Akright will be responsible for developing and deploying the marketing strategy for the bank’s mortgage and insurance product lines.

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Molly Dill This exclusive news bulletin is compiled by BizTimes Milwaukee reporter Molly Dill. This bulletin is published every Tuesday morning. Send financial services industry news and tips to or call her at (414) 336-7144.

Additional Resources

» Wisconsin Association of Accountants
» Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants
» Wisconsin Association for Financial Professionals

Financial Institutions

» Wisconsin Bankers Association
» The Wisconsin Credit Union League
» Community Bankers of Wisconsin
» Wisconsin Mortgage Bankers Association

Financial Planning

» Financial Planning Association of Southern Wisconsin
» National Association of Personal Financial Advisors


» Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin
» Wisconsin Association of Mutual Insurance Companies

Mergers & Acquisitions

» Midwest Business Brokers and Intermediaries
» Association for Corporate Growth - Wisconsin
» Turnaround Management Association - Chicago/Midwest

Other Resources

» Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions
» Wisconsin Government Finance Officers Association

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