EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (11/18/09)--Royal CU (RCU), Eau Claire, Wis., announced that it will acquire 11 branches in northwestern Wisconsin from AnchorBank. The acquisition is awaiting regulatory approval and is expected to be finalized in first quarter 2010. Under the agreement, RCU will assume $177 million in deposits and a proportionate amount in loans, real estate and other assets. RCU will buy nine of the branches and assume the lease on the other two branches. When the acquisition is complete, RCU will have 26 branches, with 23 in Wisconsin and three in the Twin Cities, Minn., area. RCU will retain all AnchorBank employees and all of the bank’s customers will become RCU members. The acquisition is not a merger or an acquisition of AnchorBank itself, RCU said in a release. The acquisition fits into RCU’s five-year plan, said RCU CEO Charles Grossklaus. The credit union has recently been expanding in Wisconsin and Minnesota. The credit union merged with REAL Financial CU in Minneapolis in August and opened a new office in Menomonie, Wis., in March. “We have been successful in part because we are actively involved in the communities and we staff our offices with people who live in those communities,” Grossklaus said. “We feel that AnchorBank customers would benefit from becoming RCU members and taking advantage of what we have to offer as a full-service, community credit union.” The transaction also will help AnchorBank make “significant progress” toward its goal of increasing capital ratios to address the challenges the bank is facing in the current economic climate, said AnchorBank CEO Chris Bauer. “The sale will allow AnchorBank to further reduce core-operating expenses and identify potential areas for additional savings in a streamlined branch network,” he added.