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Level One Bank is to acquire Oxford Bank

Congratulations to our client, Level One Bank for its acquistion of Oxford Bank. As reported in Crain's Detroit Business:

Farmington Hills-based Level One Bancorp Inc. announced Thursday afternoon that it has entered into an agreement to buy the stock of Oxford Bank Corp. (OTCBB: OXBC), the oldest bank in Oakland County.

Oxford's stock was trading Thursday at $2.90 a share, giving the bank a market capitalization of almost $3.4 million.

The acquisition, if approved by state and federal regulators and Oxford shareholders, will give Level One, which was founded in 2007 with a single branch, 15 branches and $750 million in assets.

Oxford has eight branches and $385 million in assets.

Approvals are expected to be a formality, and the acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter next year.

“We think it's a great opportunity to create a larger and more significant operation in Oakland County,” said Patrick Fehring, Level One's president and CEO.

He said all of Oxford's branches will remain open after the deal closes.

Oxford, which was founded in 1884, was hard hit during the recession and in 2008 was put under a consent decree by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to improve its operations. It eked out narrow profits in recent quarters and has seen its share price rise from a 52-week low of 53 cents.

It also has branches in Clarkston, Davison, Dryden, Goodrich, Lake Orion, Oakland Township and Ortonville.

Level One avoided the bad mortgage and commercial loans that plagued many of the local community banks and has been growing through acquisition since 2009.

In 2011, the bank was honored by Crain's at its annual mergers and acquisitions awards for the best deal under $100 million. In December 2010, it raised $8 million on short notice to acquire the $253 million in assets and four branches of Farmington Hills-based Paramount Bank after that troubled bank was shut down by regulators.

In 2009, Level One raised $13.5 million to help fund the acquisition of $180 million in assets and three branches from Farmington Hills-based Michigan Heritage Bank after it, too, was shut by regulators.

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