N.Y. bank completes Hampshire First acquisition

With all regulatory and shareholder approvals in hand, Norwich, N.Y.-based NBT Bank has completed its acquisition of Hampshire First Bank, the Manchester-based bank founded in 2006.NBT announced last November it would acquire Hampshire First, with $273 million in assets, in a $45 million deal.The $45 million deal makes Hampshire First a division of NBT Bank. It will continue to do business under its Hampshire First name.Hampshire First has five branches in New Hampshire – in Manchester, Londonderry, Nashua, Keene and Portsmouth. It has $273 million in assets.Under the deal, 65 percent of the outstanding shares of HFB common stock was 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 were exchanged for $15 in cash.The cash-in price was based on NBT’s closing stock price of $21.37 on Nov. 10, 2011.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.Hampshire First’s founding president and CEO, James Dunphy remains with the bank as New Hampshire regional president. He called the $5.8 billion NBT Bank “a community bank first and foremost.”He said the deal means Hampshire First has access to “the resources of a larger organization, giving us the ability to provide expanded services to our customers.”Martin Dietrich, NBT’s president and CEO, said that the retention of Dunphy as president was “the first time we have had the opportunity to welcome a bank’s founding CEO into our ranks following a merger.”NBT now has 137 banking locations in five states. Some 97 of them are in upstate New York, northwestern Vermont and western Massachusetts. NBT’s Pennstar Bank division operates 35 locations in northeastern Pennsylvania. – JEFF FEINGOLD/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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