Converse continued, “The repayment of TARP in December without an additional capital raise was clearly the highlight for both the fourth quarter and the year. Overcoming the adversity and challenges of the past four years to achieve this result was truly a team effort of which we’re all quite proud. And despite the reduction in Tier 1 capital that resulted from the TARP repayment, all of our regulatory capital ratios remain significantly in excess of well-capitalized levels. Furthermore, tangible common equity improved to 8.69% at December 31, 2012, as compared to 8.08% at September 30, 2012.”
Converse concluded, “On Monday of this week before the market opened, we announced that our Board has initiated a formal review through Sandler O’Neill + Partners, L.P. of strategic alternatives to enhance stockholder value, including a possible merger, sale or other form of business combination. While such strategic explorations by any publically-traded company or bank are intended to remain confidential, this announcement was made necessary due to an article that was released by Bloomberg late in the day on the prior Friday. I will repeat again what was said in our Monday release:
The Company has not set a definite timetable for completion of its evaluation and there can be no assurance that this process will lead to the pursuit, approval or completion of any transaction or other strategic initiative. The Company does not intend to disclose developments regarding this process unless and until its Board of Directors approves a specific transaction or otherwise concludes its review of strategic alternatives.
For those who question the timing of our strategic considerations, I will say that the challenges of the current economic, market and regulatory environment in which community banks operate, as well as unique opportunities which may come up from time to time, make it incumbent upon bank directors to periodically consider strategic options beyond staying the course.”