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YOUNGSTOWN Potters will be Home Savings



Published: Tue, April 2, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Home Savings' holding company has completed its acquisition of East Liverpool-based bank.

THE VINDICATOR, YOUNGSTOWN

By DON SHILLING

VINDICATOR BUSINESS EDITOR

YOUNGSTOWN -- Potters Bank locations soon will be renamed as Home Savings and Loan Co. offices.

United Community Financial Corp., the Youngstown-based holding company of Home Savings, completed the acquisition Monday of Potters Financial Corp., the East Liverpool-based holding company for Potters Bank.

To stay open: The Potters branches in East Liverpool, Calcutta, Glenmoor and Beaver, Pa., plus a loan origination office in Boardman, are being kept open and will receive Home Savings signs soon.

United Community said it doesn't expect any job losses.

The deal, which was announced last year, was completed Monday after it earlier received approval from bank regulators and Potters shareholders.

United Community is paying $22 a share, or a total of $23.6 million, to Potters shareholders.

Potters stock was trading at about $12 a year ago and then increased to about $15 a share last summer. The deal was announced in September.

"This acquisition is a significant step in implementing our strategic plan to grow our company through product and geographic expansion," said Douglas McKay, chairman and president of United Community. "It will allow United Community to maximize growth opportunities in new markets."

United Community said it will continue to review other potential acquisitions. Last year, it acquired Industrial Bancorp of Bellevue, Ohio, which operated 12 branches.

United Community said that once its computer systems are integrated with those of Potters, those customers will receive a greater variety of financial products and services.

Edward Baumgardner, the former president and chief executive of Potters, will help lead the integrating of Potters into Home Savings and will serve as vice president and regional manager at Home Savings.

Home Savings has 33 branches and five loan production offices in Ohio and Pennsylvania. United Community also owns Butler Wick Corp., a stock brokerage which has 11 offices in the two states.

shilling@vindy.com




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