Talmer shareholders approve Chemical Bank merger

Ian Thibodeau
The Detroit News

Troy — Troy-based Talmer Bancorp Inc. shareholders approved Thursday the “merger of equals” of Talmer and Midland-based Chemical Financial Corp.

If the merger is approved by Chemical shareholders July 19, it will create the largest bank in Michigan. It would operate under the name Chemical Bank.

More than 99 percent of Talmer shares cast during the vote favored the merger.

The merger is valued at $1.4 billion. When announced in January, the banks valued the merger at $1.1 billion.

“Talmer has been focused on serving the interests of its shareholders and the communities where it operates,” said Gary Torgow, chairman of the Talmer Board of Directors, in a statement. “ ... it has invested heavily in its communities through jobs, loans, economic stimulus and community initiatives.”

If approved by Chemical, the combined bank will have more than $16 billion in assets and 266 locations across Michigan. Torgow will be chairman of the combined entity, which will be headquartered in Midland. Chemical’s David Ramaker will be CEO.

Torgow told The Detroit News in January “we were headed toward a $10 billion bank and they were headed toward a $10 billion bank,” and the merger would allow the banks to better serve customers.

“We are pleased that Talmer shareholders supported the board with such overwhelming approval, and recognized this merger as a win-win,” said David T. Provost, chairman and CEO of Talmer Bank, in a Thursday statement.

Talmer shareholders will get 0.4725 shares of Chemical common stock and $1.61 per share in cash as a result of the merger. The value the stocks will change “based on Chemical’s stock price between now and the time of their closing,” according to a statement.

The merger allows Chemical to expand into southeast Michigan and northern Ohio, where most of Talmer’s branches are located.

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