As many of you are aware, Big Muddy Bancorp, Inc., the parent company of The State Bank of Townsend, Dutton State Bank, and Farmers State Bank of Denton, has signed a Merger Agreement with Eagle Bancorp Montana (NASDAQ: EBMT), the parent company of Opportunity Bank of Montana. The merger of the two entities will occur in the 1st quarter of 2019, pending regulatory approval. Opportunity Bank of Montana is Montana’s premier community bank with over 96 years of serving its customers as a local Montana-based financial institution.
We are excited for this merger as it provides all stakeholders enhanced products and services. Customers will have a large network of branches statewide to conduct their business. With this acquisition, Opportunity, whose headquarters are located in Helena, will have 21 branches across Montana; Big Timber, Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Hamilton, Helena, Livingston, Missoula, Townsend, Great Falls, Sheridan, Twin Bridges, Dutton, Denton, and Choteau. Loan customers will have access to home real estate mortgages, larger lending limits, and diverse products. Our core customer base of serving agriculture and small business will remain key product offerings. Opportunity offers full-service robust banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, commercial, and agriculture organizations. Business online banking, merchant capture, and wealth management are just a sample of additional services that will be made available.
The same familiar faces and voices of our existing staff will continue to be here to serve you. I will continue on as Market President for the North Central Montana portion of our current operation, and be a member of the Eagle and Opportunity Board of Directors. Our Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Joni Carlton, will remain as President of the Townsend location. The Dutton, Denton, and Choteau branches will continue to be managed by Alice Copenhaver, Josh Webber, and Richard Swanson, respectively. Tamariel Christopher will continue to be our key commercial lender in Cascade County. Our branches will continue to operate under their current brand names, and Opportunity is committed to keeping all branches open in the foreseeable future. Both banks share a similar philosophy and keenly understand that it is our people that make the difference in maintaining a long-term banking relationship with our loyal customers.
Inevitably, changes will occur once the merger is completed, but we’ll work to inform you with as much advance notice as possible. The changes that will be made will enhance your banking experience, and allow us to continue to meet your needs well into the future. I want to assure you that our top priority is customer service, and as we move forward that will be the driving force. Both Big Muddy’s and Opportunity’s staffs and management are committed to a problem free transition. Please never hesitate to reach out and contact me with any questions and/or concerns.
Ben Ruddy, President
Big Muddy Bancorp, Inc.
Dutton State Bank | Farmers State Bank of Denton | The State Bank of Townsend