Kearny Financial Corp. in Fairfield, N.J., has received approval from its regulator to acquire Central Jersey Bancorp in Oakhurst, the companies announced Thursday.

The Office of Thrift Supervision gave its blessing for Kearny to buy Central Jersey Bancorp and its subsidiary Central Jersey Bank for $72.3 million in cash.

The $2.3 billion-asset Kearny announced May 25 that it had agreed to acquire Central Jersey for $7.50 per share.

At the time of the announcement, the deal's dilution to tangible book value was projected to be 8% per share.

The stock price of the $578 million-asset Central Jersey has since risen 142.5%, to $7.47 per share, based on the closing price on Oct. 20. The merger plan was approved by Central Jersey's shareholders on Sept. 14. The deal is expected to close this quarter.

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