First Western Bank & Trust’s holding company, Westbrand, Inc., and BlackRidge Financial, Inc., the holding company of BlackRidgeBANK, have entered into an agreement where Westbrand, Inc. will acquire BlackRidge Financial, Inc.
According to a news release from First Western, the acquisition is pending regulatory approval and is expected to close sometime during the fourth quarter of 2019.
At first, the operations of First Western Bank & Trust and BlackRidgeBANK will remain separate, but the two will merge under the First Western Bank & Trust name in the first quarter of 2020.
Combined, the banks will have assets of nearly $1.7 billion, with more than 300 employees at 15 different locations in 11 communities across North Dakota and Minnesota, including Minot, Bismarck, Fargo and West Fargo in North Dakota, as well as Alexandria, Carlos, Miltona, Baxter, Crosslake, Nisswa and Eden Prairie/Minneapolis, in Minnesota.
First Western Bank & Trust was founded in Minot and has been a community bank since 1964.
BlackRidgeBANK was founded in 2004 and has ten locations in Minnesota and North Dakota, with total assets of nearly $500 million.