Bank of Colorado to acquire New West Bank

GREELEY — Bank of Colorado is acquiring Greeley-based New West Bank, taking over New West’s two branches and assets of $179 million, the banks announced Friday.

New West’s branches, one in Greeley and one in Eaton, will give Bank of Colorado 35 branches in its network.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquisition is pending regulatory approval, but is expected to close in April.

New West Bank was opened in 2003 by Leroy Leavitt, who served as president of Wells Fargo in Greeley until 1998. The bank has remained relatively healthy throughout the recession, thanks in part to agricultural lending in Weld County.

As of June 30, New West held 1.77 percent of the market share in Northern Colorado, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. deposit data.

“The agreement with Bank of Colorado seems like a natural fit,” Leavitt said in a news release. “Both New West Bank and Bank of Colorado have been and will be operated under a community banking model and both are big believers in giving back to the communities where we are in business. Bank of Colorado’s commitment to customer service mirrors the foundation built by New West Bank.”

Bill Hertneky, CEO of New West, said the bank “sought an acquirer like Bank of Colorado because they share our bank’s set of values. This will be a great combination for our employees and for our loyal customers.”

Bank of Colorado is owned by Pinnacle Bancorp, a $7.3 billion, family-owned, Nebraska institution established in 1938 and which operates 127 community banks in eight states.

Bank of Colorado is one of the largest banks in the Northern Colorado area in terms of deposit market share, with 6.1 percent of the market and more than $2.3 billion in assets as of Dec. 31.

It has increased its agricultural lending every year since 2009, according to the most recent financial reports. Right now, the bank holds about $115 million in ag loans.

Acquiring New West’s assets will add about $8.5 million in ag loan to Bank of Colorado’s books, as well as just under $61 million in real estate loans.

The last bank merger in Northern Colorado was completed almost exactly two years ago, in February 2011, when Fort Collins Commerce Bank, the Larimer Bank of Commerce and Loveland Bank of Commerce merged to form Verus Bank of Commerce.


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Molly Armbrister covers real estate, banking and health care for the Northern Colorado Business Report. She can be reached at 970-232-3139, marmbrister@ncbr.com or twitter.com/MArmbristerNCBR
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