Berkshire Hills Bancorp Inc. of Pittsfield, Mass., said Monday that it would not increase its offer to buy CNB Financial Corp., even if that means losing the deal.
Two unsolicited bidders are wooing the $297 million-asset CNB of Worcester, Mass., which announced a definitive agreement to sell itself to Berkshire on April 29.
Though Berkshire has raised its initial offer to $9.23 a share, Michael P. Daly, its president and chief executive officer, dismissed the possibility of a second price increase, regardless of the sudden competition for CNB.
"We believe that our offer to CNB is fairly priced and that it continues to be a superior offer," Daly said in a press release. "While we view the Worcester market as a natural extension of our current footprint and we remain interested in that market, we will not price a merger or acquisition that does not deliver acceptable returns to Berkshire stockholders."
Under the current deal, each CNB share would be exchanged for 0.4292 share of Berkshire stock, up from the initial 0.3696 share. The $2.7 billion-asset Berkshire agreed to the increase after United Financial Bancorp Inc. in West Springfield, Mass., made an unsolicited bid of $10 a share in cash and stock for CNB.
But after CNB reaffirmed its deal with Berkshire, the $1.2 billion-asset United hiked its offer to $10.25 a share.
Last week CNB said it would begin talks with United and a second, unidentified company that has also made an unsolicited bid.
Daly said in the press release that he believes Berkshire should prevail. "The share exchange that we have agreed to offers the best long-run investment opportunity for the stockholders of CNB," he said.