Crossing state lines: Peoples to enter Connecticut with first acquisition

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PeoplesBancorp in Holyoke, Mass., has agreed to buy First Suffield Financial in Connecticut for $60 million.

The deal, valued at 202% of First Suffield’s tangible book value, would give the $2.4 billion-asset Peoples four branches in Hartford County and mark its entrance into the Connecticut market. The combined company would have an estimated $2.8 billion in assets and $1.9 billion in deposits as well as 24 total branches in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

This would be the first acquisition for the mutual PeoplesBank, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

“The addition of an existing, successful branch network in northern Connecticut to our strong presence in the Pioneer Valley will allow us to offer our products and services to a wider audience, while deepening our commitment to the region as a whole,” Tom Senecal, PeoplesBank's CEO and chairman, said in a press release.

Once the deal closes, one member of the board for the $273 million-asset First Suffield Financial will serve as a director at Peoples. The deal is expected to close in either the fourth or the first quarter.

Sandler O'Neill acted as financial adviser to Peoples; FinPro Capital Advisors acted as financial adviser to First Suffield and rendered a fairness opinion to the board. Nutter McClennen & Fish served as legal counsel to Peoples and Cranmore, FitzGerald & Meaney served as legal counsel to First Suffield.

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