Former Upper Midwest Mortgage Competitors Join Forces


Two of the largest independently owned banks and mortgage companies in the Upper Midwest are joining forces.

Fargo, N.D.-based Bell State Bank Trust has agreed to acquire The Business Bank and its Prime Mortgage division, both based in Minneapolis.

The transaction  has already been approved by the board of directors of Business Bancorporation, parent company of The Business Bank, but is still subject to regulatory and shareholder approval.

Once former competitors within the mortgage industry, as a partnership, the company’s combined to originate nearly $3 billion in mortgages in 2012. 

The Business Bank, based in Minnetonka, Minn., has total assets of $200 million with a focus on small business lending. Prime Mortgage joined The Business Bank in 2007.

Meanwhile, Bell State Bank Trust has more than $2.5 billion in total assets.

Michael Solberg, president of Bell State Bank Trust, said the acquisition is a win-win for both parties. “We look forward to many great years ahead as we continue to grow,” he added. “Our combined capabilities will increase our ability to serve the needs of Minnesota consumers, businesses, Realtors and builders with a wide array of banking and mortgage options.”

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