First Bank in N.J. to buy bank based just miles away

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First Bank in Hamilton, N.J., has agreed to buy Grand Bank in Hamilton Square, N.J.

The $1.7 billion-asset First Bank said in a Tuesday press release that it will pay $19.4 million in stock for the $197 million-asset Grand Bank. The deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter, priced Grand at 87.5% of its tangible book value.

First Bank will have 18 branches in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania when the deal closes.

"This strategic transaction strengthens our market position and deposit share in our core Central New Jersey marketplace, while complementing our strong organic growth strategy," Patrick Ryan, First Bank's president and CEO, said in the release. "Grand Bank's organizational values and culture are a very good fit with ours, and we are delighted to welcome Grand Bank's employees to the First Bank team.”

"The shareholders, customers and associates of Grand Bank will all benefit from our merger," Peter Pantages, Grand's chairman, president and CEO, said in the release.

"Our customers will have access to an expanded set of products and services through the larger combined organization," Pantages added. "At the same time, they will continue to receive the highly personalized service they expect. We view our combination with First Bank as a win for all of our stakeholders, and we look forward to working closely with their team to complete the transaction."

FIG Partners, Boenning & Scattergood and Covington & Burling advised First Bank. Sandler O'Neill and Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf advised Grand.

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