Chemical acquires Lake Michigan Financial

Chemical Bank acquired Lake Michigan Financial Corporation, holding company for The Bank of Northern Michigan and The Bank of Holland, on May 31.

TRAVERSE CITY — Chemical Bank completed its third acquisition in 15 months, increasing its share in the Traverse area's financial market.

Chemical acquired Lake Michigan Financial Corporation, holding company for The Bank of Holland and The Bank of Northern Michigan, on May 31. The transaction was valued at approximately $187.4 million.

Chemical acquired Coldwater-based Monarch Community Bank in April and Northwestern in October 2014.

Chemical Chairman and CEO David Ramaker said Lake Michigan Financial was both business-oriented and customer-focused and fit well with Chemical's current market.

Chemical Bank now has $9 billion in consolidated assets, $6.8 billion in consolidated loans and $7.5 billion in consolidated deposits, with 187 branches across 47 counties in the Lower Peninsula.

The Bank of Northern Michigan and The Bank of Holland will become Chemical Bank branches at the end of 2015, when they will be re-named and convert to Chemical's data processing systems.

The Traverse City Bank of Northern Michigan office is located at 130 S. Union St., just a block from Chemical's downtown branch, 107 E. Front St. Ramaker said the company likely will consolidate the two locations into the Front Street branch and sublet the Union Street building.

There could be more acquisitions in Chemical's future if opportunities arise, but Ramaker said the bank is focused on serving its customers and employees. 

"There are probably a couple of areas in the state of Michigan we could look to expand into in the Lower Peninsula," he said. "We're not opposed to looking at opportunities outside the state of Michigan, either."

There were some layoffs following recent acquisitions, though Ramaker said Chemical tries to help place employees in new jobs.

Rich Lievense, former Chairman of Lake Michigan Financial, will join the Chemical Financial Corporation Board of Directors. Chemical named Garth Deur, former President and CEO of Lake Michigan Financial, to the position of Executive Vice President of Community Banking.

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