Park State, Pioneer banks to merge

Park Financial Group Chairman David Saber, left, and Pioneer National Bank President Bud Baker.

Two century-old Duluth banks said Thursday they will combine their resources.

Minneapolis-based Park Financial Group, Inc. and Pioneer Bank Shares, Inc. announced a purchase agreement under which Park State Bank and Pioneer National Bank will merge. When combined, the organization will have four Duluth offices, one in Minneapolis plus mobile and online banking services.

Terms of the purchase by Park Financial Group have not been disclosed, and the transaction remains subject to regulatory and shareholder approval. The deal is expected to close late in the first quarter of 2018. Current management and employees are expected to play key roles in the success of the merged organization, they said.

“This is an exciting development for Pioneer National Bank, our customers and the Duluth community,” Pioneer National Bank’s President Bud Baker said. “Joining forces with Park State Bank will allow us to be more competitive in the marketplace, expand our lending limit and offer additional tech services. It also ensures that our customers will continue to receive the high-touch customer service they are accustomed to while working with familiar Pioneer National Bank employees.”

“This merger further expands the Bank’s presence in Duluth, strengthens our ability to compete in the Twin Cities and is a natural extension of our franchise,” said Park Financial Group’s Chairman David Saber. “Not only does it better position us in two strong, vibrant top-five Minnesota markets with growth potential, it also represents a cultural fit and an opportunity to continue the extraordinary and strong client service that has distinguished and propelled Park State Bank’s recent growth. We are thankful the Peyton family chose our organization to carry on the legacy of Pioneer National Bank.”

Park State Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Park Financial Group, Inc., is located at 2630 W. Superior St. in Lincoln Park. It has a “quick bank” location in the Dewitt-Seitz Building in Canal Park and an office at 1108 Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis. At the end of the third quarter, it had assets of $52.75 million and a return on equity of 8.96 percent.

Pioneer is a locally owned, independent bank. The Peyton family has been active in Duluth and Superior banking for more than a century. The Bank’s founder, the late John N. Peyton, was chairman of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Board for 19 years. Pioneer National Bank is led by Bud Baker and has three offices in Duluth: 331 North Central Ave., Miller Hill Mall and Mount Royal Shopping Circle. It's assets totaled $82.5 million at the end of the third quarter and a return on equity of 6.42 percent. Both institutions operate as S-type corporations.