Cape Bancorp in Cape May Courthouse, N.J., has agreed to buy Colonial Financial Services in Vineland, N.J.

The $1.1 billion-asset Cape will pay roughly $55 million, or $14.50 a share, for the $551 million-asset Colonial. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of next year.

Cape said in a press release late Wednesday that it expects the transaction to be accretive to earnings per share in the first full year of operations, excluding any one-time restructuring charges. Two Colonial directors will join Cape's board.

"Colonial has strong market share in its core markets and provides an attractive low cost funding base for our franchise," Michael Devlin, Cape's president and chief executive, said in the release. "Colonial will augment the westward expansion that we began in 2011."

Sterne, Agee & Leach and Luse Gorman Pomerenk & Schick advised Cape. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods and Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf advised Colonial, while FinPro Capital Advisors provided the company with a separate fairness opinion.

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