Webster Financial Corp., which in recent years has been trying to position itself as a commercial bank, went back to its thrift roots Thursday, announcing a deal to buy Mech Financial Inc. for $210 million in stock.

The Waterbury, Conn.-based company would pay 16.9 times earnings, or 2.2 times book, for Hartford, Conn.-based Mech Financial, the parent of $1.1 billion-asset Mechanics Savings Bank. Webster, which has $10 billion of assets, expects to close the deal during the second quarter.

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