By JOHN PURCELL

Recorder News staff

Patriot Federal Bank branches in Montgomery and Fulton counties are expected to remain open after a merger with Kinderhook Bank Corp. is finalized at the end of the year.

Kinderhook Bank Corp. and Patriot Federal Bank announced Friday the companies have agreed to merge in an “all-stock transaction,” which is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year. The proposed merger of the two community banks is subject to regulatory approval and the shareholders of Patriot Federal Bank, along with typical closing conditions.

Branches of both banks are expected to remain open after the merger for a total of 11 locations across five counties.

Kathleen Wolfe, president and chief executive officer of Patriot, said combing with Kinderhook was a strategic choice for the company. Wolfe said customers would benefit from resources offered through the larger banking organization.

“This is an excellent match for Patriot and for Kinderhook,” Wolfe said. “We look forward to the combination of our two community banks and we feel we are just going to be able to continue to better serve the needs of our community.”

John Balli, president and chief executive officer of Kinderhook Bank, would hold the same title in the combined organization.

A majority of Patriot employees are expected to be invited to join the Kinderhook Bank team, according to Balli.

“We plan to keep our branches open and want to keep those same friendly faces there for our customers,” Wolfe said.

Balli said the merger would “create greater opportunities to serve our customers and communities, provide for more career options for employees, and offer enhanced returns for our shareholders.”

He said Patriot’s residential lending expertise would complement Kinderhook Bank’s commercial lending business.

“Both are strong community banks that are a good fit financially, strategically and culturally,” Balli said in a release. “The combined organization will be able to offer larger lending limits, creating a bank with greater scale, product breadth and efficiency to compete more effectively and deliver strong returns to our shareholders.”

The combined organization would operate as Kinderhook Bank and would have $601 million in total assets, $446 million in total loans and $521 million in total deposits based on financial results as of Dec. 31.

Patriot Federal Bank, headquartered in Canajoharie, is a federally chartered savings institution organized in 2005, with offices in the town of Amsterdam, village of Canajoharie, and city of Johnstown. Wolfe said the company was formed to address the need for community banking in the area.

The National Union Bank of Kinderhook, with Kinderhook Bank Corp. its parent bank holding company,  is a 164-year-old independent community bank with eight branches across Albany, Rensselaer and Columbia counties.

As of Dec. 31, Kinderhook Bank had approximately $460 million of total assets, loans totaling approximately $332 million, deposits totaling around $403 million and about $43 million of total capital.

Patriot Federal Bank as of Dec. 31 had assets totaling $141 million, $114 million of loans, deposits of $118 million and capital totaling approximately $12.3 million.

According to a joint news release, Patriot would merge into Kinderhook Bank and Patriot shareholders would receive 0.300 shares of Kinderhook Bank Corp. common stock for each share of Patriot Federal Bank common stock. Patriot shareholders will reportedly own approximately 29 percent of the stock in the combined company, on a fully-diluted basis.