Proposed acquisition of The Lake Bank and American Bank of the North represents Park’s third and fourth bank acquisitions in 5 years as assets approach $1 billion

Park Financial Group, Inc., a Minneapolis-based holding company, announced Wednesday it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Mesaba Bancshares, Inc. (Mesaba) through the purchase of 100 percent of Mesaba’s shareholder shares.

Once closed, the combined entity will have more than 20 locations and hold assets approaching $1 billion.

“Our focus and commitment is making the greatest positive impact on the communities we serve,” said David Saber, CEO of Park Financial Group. “We are extremely proud to now say our oldest branch opened in 1889, and that all of our branch locations will not only benefit from the institutional knowledge, but our customers will have access to increased lending capacity at this critical time.”

Park Financial Group made its first investment in Mesaba in 2018, purchasing a minority stake. The finalized agreement allows it to power the growth and operational strength across the three institutions. The three banks will initially continue to operate independently, though will work to streamline policies, procedures, and operations once the purchase has closed. The acquisition, which remains subject to regulatory approval and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, is anticipated to close in the third quarter of 2020.

“We look forward to enhancing the strength of our family of banks as we clearly believe the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” Saber said in a news release. “Our communities will benefit from our increased size, strength, and presence; our employees will continue to be a part of a growing, but nimble organization that values collaboration and creativity; and we look forward to a bright future.”

Park Financial Group made its first area bank purchase in 2015, acquiring Park State Bank offices in Duluth and Minneapolis. Then the company acquired Pioneer Bank Shares, Inc. of Duluth in a deal that closed in early 2018.

According to the buyers, American Bank of the North is one of only three Minnesota Banks on Forbes’ “Best Banks in Each State” list for 2020. Park State Bank is S&P Global Intelligence’s top performing community bank in Minnesota for three years running