Berkshire Hills Bancorp in Pittsfield, Mass., has agreed to buy a unit from Parke Bancorp in Washington Township, N.J., that focuses on Small Business Administration loans.

The $7.8 billion-asset Berkshire said in a press release Thursday that it will buy the assets of 44 Business Capital from the $865 million-asset Parke. Berkshire will also buy certain servicing rights for specified SBA loans and will gain about $38.4 million in SBA loans held by Parke's bank. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter.

Berkshire did not disclose the price it will pay for the SBA business, which is based in Blue Bell, Pa.

"The group has established a strong track record and reputation for small-business lending," Michael Daly, Berkshire's chief executive, said in the release. "This partnership complements our existing SBA program extremely well. The combined operation diversifies and expands our SBA focused reach."

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