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United Bancorp, Inc. Announces Agreement To Acquire Powhatan Point Community Bancshares, Inc.

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United Bancorp, Inc. Announces Agreement To Acquire Powhatan Point Community Bancshares, Inc.

MARTINS FERRY, Ohio- United Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: UBCP), the holding company for Unified Bank, and Powhatan Point Community Bancshares, Inc. (“Powhatan”), the holding company for First National Bank of Powhatan Point (“First National”), announced today that they have signed a definitive merger agreement whereby United will acquire Powhatan in a stock and cash transaction.

Upon completion, First National will be merged into UBCP’s wholly-owned subsidiary bank, Unified Bank. At that time, the main office of First National will become a full-service branch of Unified Bank.

Powhatan operates one full-service office in Belmont County, Ohio and has approximately $59 million in assets, $7.9 million in loans, $53.6 million of deposits and $5.2 million in consolidated equity as of March 31, 2018.  The transaction significantly increases UBCP’s presence in Belmont County improving the pro forma deposit market share to 15.9 percent.

The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018 and is subject to Powhatan shareholder approval, regulatory approval, and other conditions set forth in the merger agreement.  Subject to the terms of the merger agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of each company, Powhatan shareholders will receive 6.9233 shares of UBCP common stock plus $38.75 in cash for each outstanding share of Powhatan common stock, subject to adjustment based on closing equity and other factors.  Based on the UBCP closing share price of $13.05 on June 13, 2018, the transaction is valued at $129.10 for each Powhatan share or approximately $6.836 million in aggregate.

Scott Everson, President and CEO of UBCP, and its wholly-owned subsidiary Unified Bank, stated, “We are very excited to announce this acquisition.  First National Bank of Powhatan Point, its Board of Directors and staff have a great reputation in the Belmont County market for providing excellent customer service and meeting the needs of their community.” Mr. Everson continued, “As a community-minded banking organization, we share the same values and goals that have enabled First National Bank to serve the communities of Belmont and Monroe Counties at a very high level for many years.  The combining of our two institutions will create more benefits, financial products and opportunities for the customers of First National, including the ability to bank interchangeably at our other branch locations in Belmont County and throughout Ohio.”

Bill Busick, President of Powhatan stated, “Both banks think alike, namely in our devotion to customer service and conviction that community banking is good for Belmont County.   This merger gives community banking a stronger foundation in the region.”  In addition, Mr. Busick stated, “Our shareholders will benefit from having a liquid stock that offers an attractive dividend yield.”

Excluding one-time transaction costs, and with fully-phased in synergies, UBCP expects the transaction to be approximately 7.0 percent accretive to fully diluted earnings per share.  Tangible book value per share dilution earnback will be approximately 2.2 years using the crossover method.  These estimates include fully-phased in cost savings of 21 percent.  In addition, UBCP will restructure Powhatan’s investment portfolio with an expected 1.05 percent yield improvement.

UBCP is being advised by ProBank Austin and Shumaker Loop & Kendrick LLP.  Powhatan is being advised by CAMELS Consulting Group and Dinsmore &Shohl LLP.

Important Information for Investors and Shareholders:
This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities of UBCP.   UBCP will file a registration statement on Form S-4 and other documents regarding the proposed business combination transaction referenced in this press release with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) to register the shares of UBCP’s common stock to be issued to the shareholders of Powhatan.  The registration statement will include a statement/prospectus which will be sent to the shareholders of Powhatan in advance of a special meeting of shareholders that will be held to consider the proposed merger.  Investors and Powhatan shareholders are urged to read the entire registration statement and proxy statement/prospectus and any other relevant documents to be filed with the SEC in connection with the proposed transaction because they will contain important information about the proposed transaction.  Investors and shareholders may obtain a free copy of these documents (when available) through the website maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov.  These documents may also be obtained, without charge, by directing a request to United Bancorp, Inc., Attn: CFO, 201 S. Fourth Street, Martins Ferry, Ohio43935 (740) 633-0445.

UBCP and Powhatan and certain of their directors and executive officers may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from the shareholders of Powhatan in connection with the proposed merger.  Information about the directors and executive officers of UBCP is set forth in the proxy statement for UBCP’s 2018 annual meeting of shareholders, as filed with the SEC on Schedule 14A on March 20, 2018.  Information about the directors and executive officers of Powhatan regarding their interests and the interests of other persons who may be deemed participants in the transaction will be set forth in the proxy statement/prospectus regarding the proposed merger when it becomes available.  Free copies of this document may be obtained as described in the preceding paragraph.

Safe Harbor Statement:
This news release may contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of, and pursuant to, the safe-harbor provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  These forward-looking statements may include, but are not limited to, all statements regarding intent, beliefs, expectations, projections, forecasts and plans of UBCP and its management and can generally be identified as such because the context of the statement will include words such as “believes,” “anticipates” or “expects,” or words of similar import.  Such forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those currently anticipated, which risks and uncertainties include a failure to satisfy the conditions to closing for the merger in a timely manner or at all; failure of the Powhatan shareholders to approve the merger; failure to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals or the imposition of adverse regulatory conditions in connection with such approvals; the successful completion and integration of the transaction contemplated in this release; the retention of the acquired customer relationships; disruption to the parties’ businesses as a result of the announcement and pendency of the transaction; adverse changes in economic conditions; the impact of competitive products and prices; and the other risks set forth in filings with the SEC, including UBCP’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017. Therefore, there can be no assurances that the forward-looking statements included in this Current Report will prove to be accurate. In light of the significant uncertainties in the forward-looking statements included herein, the inclusion of such information should not be regarded as a representation by UBCP, Powhatan or any other persons, that our objectives and plans will be achieved. All forward-looking statements made in this Current Report are based on information presently available to the management of UBCP and Powhatan. We assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.  Copies of documents filed with the SEC are available free of charge at the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov and/or from UBCP’s website.

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Leon Black step downs as Apollo CEO after review of Epstein ties

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Leon Black step downs as Apollo CEO after review of Epstein ties 1

By Mike Spector and Chibuike Oguh

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Leon Black said on Monday he would step down as chief executive at Apollo Global Management Inc, following an independent review of his ties to the late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

While Black, whose net worth is pegged by Forbes at $8.2 billion, will remain Apollo’s chairman, his decision to step down illustrates how doing business with Epstein weighed on the reputation of one of Wall Street’s most prominent investment firms. Black co-founded Apollo 31 years ago.

Apollo said it plans to change its corporate governance structure, doing away with shares with special voting rights that currently give Black and other co-founders effective control of the firm.

The independent review, conducted by law firm Dechert LLP, found Black was not involved in any way with Epstein’s criminal activities. Black paid Epstein $158 million for advice on tax and estate planning and related services between 2012 and 2017, according to the review.

Black, 69, said that although the review confirmed he did not engage in any wrongdoing, he “deeply” regretted his involvement with Epstein.

“I hope that the results of the review, and related enhancements … will reaffirm to you that Apollo is dedicated to the highest levels of transparency and governance,” Black wrote in a note to Apollo fund investors. He will step down as CEO no later than July 31.

Apollo co-founder Marc Rowan, 58, will take over as CEO.

Rowan has often kept a low-key profile compared with Apollo’s other co-founder, Joshua Harris, 56, and spearheaded many initiatives that turned Apollo into a credit investment giant, including the permanent capital base the firm enjoys through its ties to reinsurer Athene Holding Ltd.

The revelations of Black’s ties to Epstein took a toll on Apollo, which Black turned into one of the world’s largest private equity groups. Apollo executives had warned in October that some investors had paused their commitments to the buyout firm’s funds as they awaited the review’s findings.

Apollo shares are down 1% since the New York Times reported on Oct. 12 that Black paid at least $50 million to Epstein for advice and services, when most of his clients had deserted him.

Over the same period, shares of peers Blackstone Group Inc, KKR & Co Inc and Carlyle Group Inc are up 19%, 10% and 23%, respectively.

“We think a large number of (Apollo fund investors) took a ‘pause’, and we believe the outcome (of the review) and changes today will cause most of them to return to allocating to future Apollo funds,” Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a research note.

Apollo shares jumped 4% to $47.65 in after-hours trading on Monday.

“We continue to follow these events closely and will evaluate how Apollo addresses its issues,” the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, one of the largest U.S. public pension funds and an Apollo investor, said in a statement.

Epstein was found dead at age 66 in August 2019 in a Manhattan jail, while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges for allegedly abusing dozens of underage girls in Manhattan and Florida from 2002 to 2005. New York City’s chief medical examiner ruled that the cause of death was suicide by hanging.

FALLING OUT

Black previously said he had paid millions of dollars to Epstein, but the exact size of his payments was revealed for the first time on Monday. Beyond the $158 million in payments, Black made two loans to Epstein totaling $30.5 million in early 2017.

Dechert said in its report that Black’s social ties with Epstein, who built his fortune by endearing himself to powerful figures in high society, went back to the mid-1990s.

Epstein won Black’s trust by resolving an estate tax issue for him in 2012 potentially worth at least $500 million, the report said. He ended up advising Black on various aspects of his personal financial affairs, from his family office and airplane to his yacht and artwork.

Black believed that Epstein provided advice over the years that conferred between $1 billion and $2 billion in value to him, according to the Dechert report. Black said in his note to investors that he had paid Epstein a fee equivalent to 5% of the value he generated on an after-tax basis, and not tied to hourly rates.

Black and Epstein’s relationship deteriorated after Epstein failed to repay $20 million of the loans and Black refused to pay tens of millions of dollars in fees that Epstein demanded, according to the Dechert report.

They severed ties in October 2018, according to the report. Black knew Epstein had been convicted in Florida a decade earlier for soliciting prostitution from a minor, the Dechert report said, but there was no evidence suggesting Black had knowledge of the other alleged crimes before they were publicly reported in late 2018, culminating in Epstein’s July 2019 arrest.

On Monday, Black pledged $200 million toward “initiatives that seek to achieve gender equality and protect and empower women,” as well as helping survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking.

Apollo said it would pursue a “one share, one vote” corporate governance structure that would do away with shares with special voting rights. It said the move could qualify it for listing on the S&P Global indices.

Apollo also said it would seek to give its board more authority to oversee its business, eroding the power of its executive committee led by Black.

The board will be expanded to include four new independent directors, including Avid Partners founder Pamela Joyner and physician and scientist Siddhartha Mukherjee, Apollo said. Apollo co-Presidents Scott Kleinman and James Zelter will join the board and take on increased responsibility running day-to-day operations.

Apollo had about $433 billion in assets under management as of the end of September.

(Reporting by Mike Spector and Chibuike Oguh; Additional reporting by Lawrence Delevigne and Jessica DiNapoli in New York; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall, Leslie Adler and Kim Coghill)

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EU sees no cliff-edge ending for COVID fiscal stimulus

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EU sees no cliff-edge ending for COVID fiscal stimulus 2

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European governments will not need to abruptly end fiscal support for their economies after the pandemic, top officials said on Monday, noting that any withdrawal of stimulus would be carried out gradually and only once the economy has recovered.

Euro zone public debt rose sharply during 2020 and is likely to exceed 100% of GDP this year as governments borrow to help individuals and businesses survive lockdowns.

The higher debt raises concern about how to deal with it down the road and when to start cutting it again, since the EU last year suspended its rules limiting budget deficits and debt, known as the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP).

EU finance ministers are to discuss when to reintroduce any borrowing limits in the second quarter of this year.

“I believe it important that finance ministers debate and reach a common understanding on the appropriate fiscal stance by the summer. This can then serve as guidance for the preparation of their draft budgetary plans for 2022,” the chairman of the euro zone’s group of finance ministers, Paschal Donohoe, said on Monday.

“To avoid any misunderstanding, let me stress that this is not about an imminent withdrawal of fiscal stimulus,” he told the economic committee of the European Parliament.

“We all agree that our immediate priority is to shield our citizens, in particular younger cohorts and those most exposed to the crisis. There must be no cliff-edges,” he said.

Joao Leao, the finance minister of Portugal which holds the rotating presidency of the EU and therefore sets the agenda for EU finance ministers’ work until June, was equally cautious.

“We should not withdraw stimulus too early. We need to make sure the suspension clause for the SGP remains in force at least until we return to pre-crisis economic figures,” he told the committee. “We need to make sure jobs are maintained as well as the production capacity of companies.”

He said first cash from the EU’s 750 billion euro post-COVID economic recovery programme should reach the economy in the first half of the year.

“Real funding should be getting to the economy before the summer or in early part of the summer,” he said.

(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Giles Elgood)

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IMF to intensify focus on climate change’s economic impact, Georgieva

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IMF to intensify focus on climate change's economic impact, Georgieva 3

By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund views climate change as a fundamental risk to economic and financial stability, its chief said on Monday, mapping out the IMF’s plans to help focus investments in green technologies that will boost global growth.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told the Climate Adaptation Summit that global economic output could expand by an average 0.7% annually over the next 15 years and millions of jobs could be created if carbon prices rose steadily and investments expanded in green infrastructure.

“We see climate as a fundamental risk for economic and financial stability, and we see climate action as an opportunity to reinvigorate growth, especially after the pandemic, and to generate new green jobs,” Georgieva said.

She said the IMF was taking action in four areas to accelerate the transition to a new low-carbon and climate-resilient economy.

Georgieva said the Fund would launch a new “Climate Change Dashboard” this year to track the economic impact of climate risks and the measures taken to mitigate them, a key step to ensuring the needed shift.

“Climate resilience is a critical priority,” she said. “This is why we place it at the heart of what do, this year and (in) the years to come.”

The Fund is also integrating climate factors into its annual economic country assessments, also known as Article IV consultations, focusing on adaptation in highly vulnerable countries, and carbon pricing in its assessment of large emitters, Georgieva said.

In addition, she said the IMF is adopting enhanced stress tests and standardizing disclosure of climate-related financial stability risks in its financial-sector surveys, and expanding its training and support to help central banks and finance ministries take climate considerations into account.

The World Bank, the largest multilateral funder of climate finance, boosted funding for adaptation projects to 50% of its total climate finance over the past four years, and plans to maintain that percentage for the next five years, World Bank President David Malpass told the same event on Monday.

In addition to funding projects addressing coastal erosion, increasing crop yields and building cyclone-resistant infrastructure, the Bank was also investing in early warning and evacuation systems, better social protection, and weather observation, he said.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Paul Simao)

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