Wilton Bank shareholders approve merger

Bankwell Financial Group’s merger with The Wilton Bank moved one step closer this week after Wilton Bank shareholders approved the deal. Bankwell Financial Group Inc. is the parent company of Bankwell Bank.

The merger has been approved by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and approval from the Connecticut Department of Banking is expected shortly, according to a press release.

The transaction, which was originally announced in mid-June, is expected to close by the end of the year. When it does, Wilton Bank shareholders will receive in the vicinity of $13.50 per share, bringing the total deal to about $5 million, according to Peyton R. Patterson, president and chief executive officer of Bankwell Financial Group.

“We are excited to have passed this milestone and look forward to completing the merger,” Ms. Patterson said. “Together, we will continue to be the hometown bank serving the local community, but with a far greater array of services to offer individuals and businesses in the Wilton market.”

Charles F. Howell, president, treasurer and chief executive officer of The Wilton Bank, concurred. “We are pleased that our shareholders have supported the merger with Bankwell,” he said. “Bankwell’s excellent reputation for exceptional service, credit quality and community-giving make us a winning combination.”

When the merger is complete The Wilton Bank’s name — and signs — will be changed to Bankwell.

Infusion of capital

Bankwell also announced that it raised $6,197,500 in capital by issuing 370,000 shares of its common stock to a single prominent financial institution investor. This development is not directly related to the merger.

“It was a short-term effort by one institutional investment to shore up capital in advance of [the merger with] Wilton,” Ms. Patterson said.

That additional capital, she added “will continue to support Bankwell’s anticipated growth from a strong capital position.”

Bankwell Financial Group is a federally regulated bank holding company in New Canaan. Bankwell Financial Group operates one state-chartered commercial bank subsidiary, Bankwell Bank. This bank was recently created from the merger of The Bank of New Canaan and The Bank of Fairfield.  Bankwell Bank operates branches in New Canaan, Fairfield, Stamford and a loan production office in Bridgeport. Bankwell Bank is FDIC-insured and provides a full range of banking services to commercial and consumer customers.