Brookline Bancorp Inc. in Brookline, Mass., has agreed to acquire Bancorp Rhode Island Inc. in Providence.

Brookline will pay $234 million in cash and stock for Bancorp Rhode Island in a transaction that will create a company with nearly $5 billion in assets. The company will also have 43 branches, $3.7 billion in loans and $3.2 billion in deposits. Brookline said in a Wednesday press release that it would keep Bancorp Rhode Island state bank charter and operate its BankRI as a separate unit.

Bancorp Rhode Island shareholders will receive either $48.25 in cash or 4.686 shares of Brookline stock for each share owned. The cash offer is a 57% premium over Bancorp Rhode Island's closing price on Tuesday. Brookline said the acquisition will increase its earnings per share by about 25% next year.

Brookline expects to complete the acquisition in the fourth quarter.

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