N.Y. bank to buy Hampshire First



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Manchester-based Hampshire First Bank has agreed to be acquired by Norwich, N.Y.-based NBT Bancorp.The deal, valued at $45 million, is expected to close in the early second quarter, pending state and federal regulatory approval as well as approval by shareholders, the banks said.Hampshire First, which was founded in 2006, is a state-chartered commercial bank with $273 million in assets and five branches in southern New Hampshire. The $5.5 billion NBT has a network of 128 branches in four states -- New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Massachusetts.Under the deal, 65 percent of the outstanding shares of HFB common stock will be converted into 0.7019 of a share of NBT common stock for each Hampshire First share. The remaining 35 percent of Hampshire First's outstanding shares common stock will be exchanged for $15 in cash.The cash-in price is based on NBT's closing stock price of $21.37 on Nov. 10.In hammering out the agreement, NBT also had to reach a deal with Meridian Interstate Bancorp Inc., the holding company of East Boston Savings Bank, which owns approximately 40 percent of the outstanding stock of HFB. -- JEFF FEINGOLD/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

 

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