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NB&T: Share 
buyback ensures independence

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012 5:31 a.m. CDT

SYCAMORE – The holding company for The National Bank & Trust Co. of Sycamore plans to buy back almost $17 million in common stock by the end of the year, bank officials said Monday.

NI Bancshares Corp. will purchase the bulk of the shares from the Dutton family, the bank’s largest single stockholder. The buyback will ensure that NB&T will remain an independent local bank for years to come, said Mike Cullen, president and CEO of NB&T.

“It really reinforces our ability to be independent and serve the needs of the community,” Cullen said. “We do a lot in the community and support our employees doing a lot in the community, and as banks go different directions, that’s not always the case.”

The Duttons are one of the oldest shareholders in the bank, Cullen said. The family plans to sell back 268,150 shares at $46 each, at a total cost of a little more than $12.3 million. James Dutton, the chairman of the board, will retain a meaningful stake in the bank, Cullen added.

The shares the Duttons will sell back to the bank account for 19 percent of the 1.4 million shares outstanding. However, NI Bancshares Corp., the holding company for NB&T, also plans to purchase another 100,000 shares at the same price from its roughly 350 shareholders, Cullen said. If the company reaches its buyback goal, it will have repurchased 26.3 percent of the outstanding stock.

Government regulators have approved the buyback plan, bank officials said.

NB&T was founded in Sycamore in 1867. As of June 30, the bank had assets of $670 million and managed trust assets of about $600 million. It leads the market in deposits in DeKalb County and is the county’s No. 1 mortgage originator.

“At a time when some banks are struggling and needing capital, we have regulatory approval to use our capital in this way,” Cullen said. “… This really reinforces our future as an independent community bank.”

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