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Evans Bancorp calls $14 million stock offering a success

Evans Bancorp is stockpiling financial fuel for the future.

The Hamburg-based parent of Evans Bank on Wednesday rolled out a common stock offering of $14 million worth of its shares, priced at $35 a share. Institutional investors bought up the shares.

David J. Nasca, Evans' president and CEO, said the timing was right for the offering, with an eye toward growth.

"We don't have an acquisition in front of us, but we've grown very fast," Nasca said. "Growth uses the capital. We're assuring we have strong and well committed capital into the future. This was an opportune time to do it."

One reason Nasca believed it was opportune: the market disruption caused by KeyBank's acquisition of First Niagara, which rivals are attempting to capitalize on.

Nasca said Evans leaders liked the offering's results, for a few reasons.

The offer was $35 per share, which was where the bank's share price closed on Tuesday, "so there was no discount to offer. That is highly unusual. Usually stocks are discounted on a follow-on offering like this. That's value."

Evans also broadened its base of investors, which was another of the bank's goals, Nasca said.

"It shows the strength of the investor community's belief in our company's strategies," Nasca said. "It also shows for the people who reinvested, people who were already in our company's stock, we told them what we're going to do, we've executed against it, and they believe we can continue to do that."

Evans, which crossed the $1 billion-asset threshold last year, estimates it will receive net proceeds of $12.9 million from the sale.

Evans' last common stock offering was 2010. That year, the bank raised about the same amount of money, but had to sell 1.125 million shares at $12 per share to achieve it, compared to 400,000 shares at $35 this time.


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