VAIL, Colo., July 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Vail Banks, Inc. (Nasdaq: VAIL) announced today the closing of the acquisition of Estes Bank Corporation and its wholly owned subsidiary, United Valley Bank of Estes Park, Colorado. United Valley Bank, which operates branches in Estes Park, Granby and Grand Lake, Colorado, has assets of $80 million. Vail Banks, Inc., including this acquisition will have total assets of $550 million. E. B. Chester, Chairman of Vail Banks, commented, "We are extremely fortunate to have the customers and associates of United Valley Bank join the WestStar Bank family. United Valley Bank is a high quality financial institution, and their addition will have a very positive influence on WestStar Bank. We are particularly fortunate to have Jack Haselbush, Chairman, and Brad Sishc, President of United Valley Bank, continue to be associated with our company. Jack Haselbush will serve Vail Banks as a strategic advisor and a member of its Board of Directors. Brad Sishc will become President of the Estes Park Region of WestStar Bank. With the guidance of these gentleman, we are confident that we will continue the tradition of United Valley Banks as a high performance, high asset quality, customer- centered bank." Jack Haselbush, former Chairman of United Valley Bank, stated, "Our company has grown and prospered through service to its customers. We realize that to continue to offer our customers the finest and most technically advanced products and services, the scale of our business must increase. We are extremely fortunate to find a partner such as Vail Banks, which faces the same challenge of balancing the necessary scale of their business with a genuine desire to remain a locally focused institution. No changes are anticipated in our employees or in our commitment to customer service. We do anticipate, however, advancing the level of the products and services we offer and the technology through which they are offered." Lisa M. Dillon, President and CEO of Vail Banks, stated, "We expect this transaction to increase Vail Banks' net income on a per share basis from the outset. Our planning for this combination contains no anticipation of cost efficiencies, although we expect that, over time, such efficiencies will materialize." Ms. Dillon went on to say, "This merger represents the first expansion of Vail Banks into the "front range" or "foothills" area of Colorado. The area northwest of Denver is one of the fastest growing areas in Colorado. Our Board of Directors has made it a priority to become a significant provider of financial services in this area. We are fortunate to associate with such a fine institution and individuals to begin this process." Vail Banks operates WestStar Bank which serves thirteen communities on the western slope of Colorado, including Aspen, Avon, Breckenridge, Cedaredge, Delta, Dillon, Edwards, Glenwood Springs, Granby, Montrose, Telluride and Vail and Estes Park in the foothills of Colorado. It has number one deposit market share in San Miguel County (Telluride) and Estes Park and number two share in Eagle County (Avon, Edwards and Vail) and in Garfield County (Glenwood Springs and New Castle). Vail Banks warns that caution should be taken in relying upon any forward- looking statements in this release, as they involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any such statements, including the risks and uncertainties discussed in the Company's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1999 under the caption "Certain Factors Affecting Forward Looking Statements," which discussion is incorporated herein by reference.
SOURCE Vail Banks, Inc.