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Forcht Bank expanding into Cincinnati market

Editor’s note: This article originated in July 2018. The merger was completed in late 2018.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Forcht Bancorp Inc. has reached an agreement to purchase Watch Hill Bank in Cincinnati by acquiring all the outstanding shares of MW Bancorp Inc., the holding company for Watch Hill Bank. Subject to regulatory and shareholder approval, Watch Hill Bank will be merged into Forcht Bank when the purchase is completed. MW Bancorp shareholders will receive $30.00 for each share of MW Bancorp common stock.

“We believe this merger will offer customers of both banks even greater strength and resources while maintaining our commitments to the communities in which we serve,” said Tucker Ballinger, president & CEO of Forcht Bank. “Both of our organizations are built around the customer experience and understanding the importance of delivering increasing value to customers, communities and shareholders.”

Founded by Terry Forcht, Forcht Bank operates 25 banking centers in 12 counties including Fayette, Jefferson, Boone, Grant, Madison, Taylor, Pulaski, Laurel, Whitley, Knox, McCreary and Green counties. It has total assets of approximately $1 billion.

“This partnership will greatly benefit our customers, shareholders and the Cincinnati community. We are excited to utilize Forcht’s platform to provide expanded products, services and technology offerings to our client base. This will only enhance the high-level customer service that our client base has come to expect,” said Gregory P. Niesen, president and CEO of Watch Hill Bank.

Headquartered in Cincinnati, Watch Hill Bank is an Ohio-chartered savings and loan association originally established in 1886. Watch Hill Bank operates from two banking offices located in Cincinnati. As of March 31, 2018, MW Bancorp had approximately $163 million in total assets.

Niesen, who will serve as the Cincinnati market president, will continue to provide valuable service to Forcht Bank, as well as other employees of Watch Hill Bank.