MIDLAND, Mich., May 3, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Chemical Financial Corporation (Chemical) (Nasdaq:CHFC), holding company for Chemical Bank, today announced that on April 30, 2010 it completed its previously announced acquisition of O.A.K. Financial Corporation (OAK), holding company for Byron Bank. Subsequent to the closing, Chemical has $5.1 billion in assets, $3.6 billion in loans and $4.2 billion in deposits in 144 banking offices across 32 counties in Michigan's Lower Peninsula.

"We are very pleased to complete the acquisition of OAK, and enthusiastically welcome Byron Bank's customers, as well as Pat Gill and his team, to the Chemical Bank family. We believe that by combining these two strong institutions, we will become a force in retaining and expanding current relationships, as well as forging new relationships, in the attractive West Michigan market," said David B. Ramaker, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Chemical. "This merger clearly enhances our competitive position, branch distribution system and overall capabilities in the important Grand Rapids market. Customers of both institutions across Michigan will benefit from access to new product and service offerings as a result of the merger."

Byron Bank operates 14 banking offices in Kent, Ottawa and Allegan counties in Michigan, and at March 31, 2010 had $812 million in assets, $687 million in loans and $691 million in deposits.

Current Byron Bank locations will continue to operate under the Byron Bank name until late July 2010, at which time the conversion to Chemical Bank's data processing platform will be completed.  After the conversion, all locations will operate under the Chemical Bank name.

In conjunction with the closing of the transaction, Chemical issued 3,530,129 shares of its common stock to former holders of OAK common stock, and converted outstanding stock options of OAK into stock options of Chemical with an estimated fair value of approximately $0.1 million.