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Forum staff reports, Published April 01 2013

Bell State Bank and Trust buys Minneapolis’ Business Bank, mortgage division

FARGO – Bell State Bank & Trust of Fargo has purchased The Business Bank and its Prime Mortgage Division, both located in Minneapolis, in a deal that combines Bell with another of the region’s largest privately held banking and mortgage companies.

The Business Bank and Prime Mortgage will become part of Bell State Bank & Trust and the company’s Bell Mortgage division.

“We are excited about this new partnership. We look forward to a smooth transition for our teams, thanks to the remarkable similarities in our cultures and philosophies” said Brad Krohn, CEO of The Business Bank.

The acquisition was first announced in January, and the deal closed on Monday.

Bell State Bank & Trust President Michael Solberg said the company is creating a strong banking and mortgage presence in the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota “with the capability to serve more and more consumers, businesses, realtors and builders in the region.”

The Business Bank was organized in Minnetonka, Minn., in 2000 with a focus on small business lending. With total assets of $200 million, the company has more than 200 employees at 15 offices in Minnesota and a satellite office in Naples, Fla.

Bell State Bank & Trust has more than 750 employees at 18 full-service banking locations in the region, as well as trust offices in Fargo, Bismarck and Boise, Idaho; and multiple Bell Mortgage offices in the Twin Cities area and Phoenix, Ariz.

Bell State Bank & Trust has assets totaling more than $2.6 billion.