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Wilber National Bank in Oneonta acquired by Community Bank System Inc

ONEONTA, N.Y. - Community Bank System, Inc. and The Wilber Corporation have announced the signing of a definitive agreement in which Community Bank System, Inc. will acquire The Wilber Corporation, parent company of Wilber National Bank in Oneonta, for $101.8 million in Community Bank System stock and cash, or $9.50 per share.

The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by the board of directors of both companies.

"Wilber has historically strong earnings and operating results and a footprint that lies predominantly within the Marcellus Shale gas region, providing tremendous future growth potential."

The merger will combine two institutions with a strong history of localized customer service, and expands the Community Bank service footprint into seven new counties covering the Central Leatherstocking, Greater Capital District, and Catskills regions of Upstate New York.

At June 30, 2010, The Wilber Corporation had total assets of $929 million, net loans of $553 million, and deposits of $778 million. The transaction is expected to be accretive to CBU earnings per share in 2011, exclusive of one-time acquisition related charges.

"We are excited to be partnering with Wilber National Bank to extend our Upstate New York service area. Wilber has a significant market presence and attractive deposit share in contiguous regions, with demographic characteristics very similar to our current markets," said President and Chief Executive Officer Mark E. Tryniski. "Just as important to us, Wilber Bank has an impressive history of service to its customers and its communities, a tradition that aligns well with that of Community Bank." Tryniski continued, "Wilber has historically strong earnings and operating results and a footprint that lies predominantly within the Marcellus Shale gas region, providing tremendous future growth potential."

"This is an ideal opportunity for Wilber to partner with a true community bank that has been nationally recognized for providing outstanding customer service," said Alfred Whittet, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Wilber Corporation. "Their focus on local communities and local decision-making is identical to our model, and our customers will benefit from expanded product and service offerings and a broader network of branch locations and ATM's."

Brian Wright, Chairman of the Board of The Wilber Corporation, said, "We are pleased to be partnering with Community Bank System, which will provide enhanced opportunities for our shareholders, customers, and employees. We are pleased with the attractive market premium for our shareholders, in addition to a significantly improved dividend and substantial market liquidity. Community Bank System also has an impressive history of creating shareholder value through both earnings and dividend growth."

The merger agreement provides for two Wilber Corporation Directors to be added to the Board of Directors of Community Bank System, Inc. The merger transaction is expected to close in early 2011, subject to approval by the shareholders of The Wilber Corporation, as well as completion of the regulatory review and approval process.

 

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