San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co., the nation’s fifth largest bank, said it agreed to buy Greater Bay Bancorp in a stock swap estimated at about $1.5 billion, strengthening its presence around San Francisco Bay.
East Palo Alto-based Greater Bay has $7.4 billion in assets, more than 1,800 employees, and has 41 branches in the San Francisco Bay Area, including Mid-Peninsula Bank, Golden Gate Bank and Santa Clara Valley National Bank.
Greater Bay also owns ABD Insurance and Financial Services, the nation’s 15th largest retail insurance broker, with locations along the West Coast, and Matsco Financial Corp., a national lender specializing in serving veterinarians and dentists.
The acquisition will give Wells Fargo a 20.6 percent market share in the wealthy San Francisco Bay Area, Wells Fargo President and Chief Operating Officer John Stumpf said in a statement.
Wells Fargo is offering around $28.50 for each share of Greater Bay. The exact price will be based on the average closing price of Wells Fargo shares over the 10 days prior to a shareholder meeting of Greater Bay.
Shares of Greater Bay fell $1.61 to $27.93 Friday.
Wells Fargo shares rose 8 cents to $35.92.
Not including the new acquisition, San Francisco-based Wells Fargo has $486 billion in assets and more than 6,000 stores.
Byron A. Scordelis, president and CEO of Greater Bay Bancorp, said the acquisition made sense because Wells Fargo was “very much in alignment with our culture and values.”
“Wells Fargo believes in all four of our operating businesses – regional community banking, commercial insurance brokerage, specialty finance, and trust,” Scordelis said in a statement.
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