Farm Credit East and Farm Credit of Maine last week publicly announced that the board of directors of both associations have approved a merger of the two associations. Now, the vote goes to their respective customer-stockholders.
In the coming weeks, stockholders of each association will receive a merger information packet by mail. Voting stockholders include those customers who own stock in their respective association as of Sept. 30, 2013. Each association will hold a separate vote with ballots mailed in early November. All ballots are due by Friday, Nov. 22, the same day that stockholder meetings will be held in both associations.
A win-win deal
"This is a good merger for members of both associations," says Andy Gilbert, chairman of Farm Credit East's Board of Directors. "Both are successful associations, closely aligned in their missions, customer delivery and optimism for the future of Northeast agriculture. Together, the combined association will benefit from increased loan diversity, a stronger capital base and enhanced earnings."
Hank McPherson, chairman of Farm Credit of Maine's Board of Directors, agrees. "Both associations are financially and operationally strong," he says, "and together we'll be able to provide enhanced member service and strengthen Farm Credit in the Northeast."
Farm Credit East extends more than $4.6 billion in loans and has 19 local offices in its six-state service area. The organization also offers a full range of agriculturally specific financial services for businesses related to farming, horticulture, forestry and commercial fishing. Farm Credit East is governed by a 15-person board of directors.
Farm Credit of Maine extends more than $580 million in loans and serves the state of Maine from two regional offices. Loans, leases, appraisal and crop insurance services are provided primarily to family businesses in Maine's agricultural, forest products and commercial fishing industries. This credit cooperative is governed by a seven-member board of directors, six of whom are elected by its customer-owners.