Berkshire Hills Bancorp in Pittsfield, Mass., has agreed to buy Hampden Bancorp in Springfield, Mass.
The $6.4 billion-asset Berkshire will pay $109 million, or $20.53 a share, in stock for the $706 million-asset Hampden. The price represents a 133% premium to Hampden's tangible book value. The merger is expected to close in the second quarter.
Hampden had been facing a proxy battle with Clover Partners over two board seats. Institutional Shareholder Services, an independent advisory firm, had recommended recently that shareholders support Clover's nominees.
"This in-market partnership will create a strong platform for serving our combined customers, while producing attractive returns for both our existing shareholders and the new shareholders from Hampden," Michael Daly, Berkshire's president and chief executive, said in a press release Tuesday. "This merger complements our expansion initiatives in central Massachusetts" and Hartford, Conn.
Two Hampden directors will join Berkshire's board. Glenn Welch, Hampden's chief executive, will join Berkshire as a regional president.
Sandler O'Neill and Luse Gorman Pomerenk & Schick advised Berkshire. Sterne, Agee & Leach and Goodwin Procter advised Hampden.