Bank Leumi, based in Israel, has merged its U.S. unit into Valley National Bank, at a price of about $1.2 billion. Bank Leumi will hold about 14% of the stock in Valley National, making the Israeli bank the largest non-controlling shareholder in the New Jersey-based Valley National.
Valley National, which acquired USAmeriBank in 2018, has Alabama branches in Alabaster, Alexander City, Auburn, Birmingham, Dadeville, Gardendale, Millbrook, Montgomery, Pell City and Wetumpka.
Bloomberg notes that the Valley National/Leumi deal follows a trend of U.S. banks acquiring the U.S. units of international banks in an effort to compete with the largest Wall Street banks. The combined Leumi/Valley National will be the 29th largest bank traded on the U.S. stock exchange.
“This is a strategic move designed to wisely expand our business operations in the U.S.,” said Leumi CEO Hanan Friedman. “The merger will enable significant and unprecedented presence for an Israeli bank in the U.S. market.”
Valley National CEO Ira Robbins added, “Bank Leumi’s unique deposit verticals, including the technology and venture capital business, will continue the significant funding improvement that we have driven over the last few years. On the lending side, Bank Leumi will add diversification into niche C&I segments and new geographies including in California and Illinois. We are also eager to scale Bank Leumi’s private banking platform across Valley’s larger customer base and footprint. Leveraging these new and distinct platforms, and the talents of Leumi’s management and employees, will represent the next exciting phase of our evolution as a premier full-service commercial bank.”