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National Bank of Commerce to buy stake in Republic Bank

The holding company for Superior's National Bank of Commerce is looking to acquire 49 percent of Duluth's Republic Bank. Natcom Bancshares Inc. is applying to the Federal Reserve Board to buy the minority ownership interest, which represents an i...

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The Republic Bank temperature sign on Woodland Avenue and St. Marie Street. (file photo / News Tribune)
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The holding company for Superior's National Bank of Commerce is looking to acquire 49 percent of Duluth's Republic Bank.

Natcom Bancshares Inc. is applying to the Federal Reserve Board to buy the minority ownership interest, which represents an investment in the bank, National Bank of Commerce CEO Steve Burgess said Wednesday.

"We're not doing anything with merging or anything like that," he said. "It's just an investment we're going to have in our community."

Burgess would not disclose the transaction price.

Republic Bank was founded in 1978 as Miller Hill State Bank and was solely owned by Jeno Paulucci from 1986 until his 2011 death.

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Paulucci's estate was tied up in court following his death and that of his wife, Lois. Republic Bank CEO David Gaddie was not available for comment Wednesday, and it was not clear who owns the controlling share of Republic Bank and who consented to the potential acquisition.

Republic Bank manages more than $360 million in assets, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Between 2012 and 2014, the FDIC moved Republic Bank's Community Reinvestment Act performance rating from "satisfactory" to "outstanding."

"We like Republic Bank, we think they're a valuable asset in the community," Burgess said.

National Bank of Commerce likewise hit the "outstanding" rating as of this year.

That bank was founded in 1934 and today manages more than $560 million in assets, according to the FDIC.

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval.

"The Federal Reserve considers a number of factors in deciding whether to approve the application, including the record of performance of banks we own in helping to meet local credit needs," reads a notice from the Federal Reserve.

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Comments will be taken through Dec. 16 on the proposed transaction. Written comments can be sent to Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Attn: Applications Officer, Division of Supervision, Regulation and Credit, PO Box 291 Minneapolis, MN 55480.

Related Topics: SUPERIOR
Brooks Johnson was an enterprise/investigative reporter and business columnist at the Duluth News Tribune from 2016 to 2019.
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