Camden National Bank (CAC) in Maine announced Tuesday that it is buying 15 branches from Bank of America (BAC) in a deal that would that substantially expand the bank's footprint within its home state.

The transaction, expected to close next quarter, would give the $2.3 billion-asset Camden 53 branches in Maine and strengthen its market share in such key areas as Augusta, Bangor and Lewiston/Auburn. Camden would gain roughly $414 million of deposits in the deal, which would propel it from the No. 5 deposit share position in the state to No. 3, behind TD Bank and KeyBank, and ahead of B of A.

The company said it would pay 3.7% premium on the deposits, which works out to a price of about $15.3 million. "This is a strategically compelling opportunity to expand and strengthen Camden National's franchise, while deepening our commitment to our existing markets," Gregory A. Dufour, Camden's president and chief executive, said in a news release.

B of A is in the midst of a major corporate downsizing that includes closing or selling roughly 10% of its branches. Once the sale closes, B of A would still have more than 20 branches and over $1 billion of deposits in Maine.

Camden said the deal would boost its assets to roughly $2.7 billion and increase its total deposits to about $2 billion. Dufour said the bank is working with B of A to "ensure a smooth transition" for customers as well as employees.

"Our goal is to preserve jobs as we assess the impact the acquisition will have on our processes and staffing levels," Dufour said.

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