WSFS to acquire Bryn Mawr Bank in $976 million stock deal

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Wilmington-based WSFS Financial Corporation and Bryn Mawr Bank Corp. signed an agreement with WSFS Bank acquiring the smaller suburban Philadelphia bank and wealth management company in a $976.4 million stock deal.

WSFS is expected to reduce the number of branches in the banks’ overlapping market areas by about 30 percent. Bryn Mawr branches are located the Philadelphia suburbs.

The deal will give WSFS nearly $20 billion in assets and an approximately $43 billion Wealth Management business. Bryn Mawr has wealth management operations outside Wilmington in Greenville.

Under the terms of the agreement, Bryn Mawr’s stockholders will receive 0.90 of a share of WSFS common stock for each share of Bryn Mawr common stock.

“This combination aligns with our strategic plan,” said Rodger Levenson, WSFS CEO. “Combining with Bryn Mawr allows us to accelerate our long-term strategic objectives, including scale, to continue to invest in our delivery and talent transformations. This combination also creates the premier wealth management and trust business in the region and the sixth largest bank-affiliated wealth management and trust business nationwide under $100 billion in assets. Together, we are poised and positioned to continue to serve and outperform for all our constituents and to deliver sustainable high performance for years to come.”

The acquisition-merger is WSFS’ ninth since 2010 and includes traditional banks and other fee-based businesses in southeastern Pennsylvania and Delaware.

While WSFS is the biggest bank and trust company headquartered in the Delaware Valley, it faces much larger competitors like PNC, TD, Wells Fargo and M&T. Megabanks like Chase and Bank of America have also established a branch presence in the region.

Both PNC and M&T have announced big acquisitions in recent months. Banks have weathered the Covid-19 pandemic and are now looking to be bought out or are snapping up competitors.

WSFS had few hiccups when it nearly doubled in size with the acquisition of Philadelphia’s Beneficial. It also used the resulting cost savings to invest in a technology platform that will be used to integrate Bryn Mawr into its system.

The technology upgrades are needed as more customers. perform banking functions from their mobile devices

WSFS is also making a $2 million grant to the WSFS Community Foundation to support underserved communities

WSFS anticipates consolidating approximately 30 percent of the combined banking offices due to geographic overlap and optimization opportunities within the network.

WSFS expects pre-tax merger and restructuring costs of about $127 million and to achieve annual cost savings of $73 million by 2023. The merger is expected to add to WSFS’ earnings per share in 2022, minus one-time costs.

The boards have approved the merger agreement of directors of both companies. The closing of the transaction is subject to customary approvals by regulators and stockholders of both companies. Pending those approvals, the transaction is expected to close early in the fourth quarter of 2021.

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