After Growth, Heartland Bank Now Considering IPO | WGLT

After Growth, Heartland Bank Now Considering IPO

Sep 18, 2019

Heartland Bank and Trust’s holding company could soon become one of the few Bloomington-based businesses to be publicly traded on the stock market.

HBT Financial Inc. has filed preliminary paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a possible initial public offering, or IPO, of its stock. If HBT proceeds with the IPO, its stock would be traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the trading symbol “HBT.”

HBT declined a request for an interview. Executive Vice President and Chief Retail Officer Diane Lanier cited a required “quiet period” related to their SEC filing.

HBT, with $3.2 billion in assets, owns Heartland Bank and Trust and the State Bank of Lincoln. It has 61 full-service and three limited-service branch locations in central and northeastern Illinois. In addition to traditional checking and savings accounts, HBT’s lending portfolio is weighted toward commercial real estate and commercial and industrial loans, according to the SEC filing.

Heartland Bank had the No. 1 deposit market share in the Bloomington market as of mid-2018, the company said in the SEC filing. The Bloomington market’s $665 million in deposits represents about 24% of HBT’s total deposits, the company said.

The bank’s origins trace back to 1920, when current CEO Fred Drake’s grandfather helped found a community bank in Cornland, Ill. The bank has grown rapidly since, acquiring the assets of the failed Bank of Illinois in Uptown Normal in 2010. It entered the Chicago market in 2011 through an acquisition of Western Springs National Bank. It acquired State Bank of Lincoln in 2018.

The Drake family still controls over 95% of the company. Even after an IPO, that Drake-controlled trust would still own more than 50% of the voting power of the bank’s board.

The proceeds from the IPO would be used to fund a “distribution to legacy shareholders,” with the rest used for general corporate purposes, the company said.

“Normal business activities of Heartland Bank and Trust Company and State Bank of Lincoln are not impacted” during the IPO process, Lanier said.

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