President Scott White, Staff To Stay In Place
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – The Bank of Cooperstown is in the process of being acquired in an $80 million transaction by Norwood Financial Corp. of Honesdale, Pa., which has signed a “definitive merger agreement” to buy Upstate New York Bancorp, the local bank’s parent company.
If the sale goes forward as anticipated, Bank of Cooperstown President Scott White and his staffs will remain in place in the Cooperstown and Oneonta branches, Upstate President R. Michael Briggs said in an interview.
Under the terms of the transaction, announced in a Thursday, Jan. 9, press release, Norwood will acquire “all outstanding shares” in Upstate, which will merge into Norwood.
However, Norwood will maintain the brand names of Upstate’s two entities, the Bank of Cooperstown as well as the Bank of the Finger Lakes, which has been the current company’s headquarters. The Finger Lakes president, Jeffrey E. Franklin, will also remain in place.
Obtaining the Bank of Cooperstown units makes particular sense to Norwood since it bought the Bank of Walton in 2016, which has six branches in Delaware County, including one as close to Otsego County as Franklin.
“It was a very important part of the decision,” said Briggs, who is entering into a consultant agreement with the new owner.
Before the agreement is finalized – by the beginning of the third quarter, in June – shareholders in both companies must approve it.
All Upstate shareholders may trade their shares for Norwood shares, or for cash, and may receive a cash dividend when the transaction is complete. “The price contemplated is well above the most recent trades in the stock,” Briggs said.
The local bank was initiated a decade ago by Bob O’Neill, a retired Wall Street financier who maintains a home in Cooperstown. An Oneonta branch was opened in 2014.
Local people on the USNY Bancorp board include Michael Moffatt, Cooperstown, Blue Mingo proprietor; Jeff Haggerty of Haggerty Ace Hardware, Cooperstown; Steve Smith of G&S Construction, Fly Creek.