First Bank (FRBA) in Hamilton, N.J., has agreed to buy Heritage Community Bank in Randolph.

The $373 million-asset First Bank will pay approximately $4.8 million in stock for the $146 million-asset Heritage, the companies announced Friday. First Bank said it expects to issue roughly 875,000 of its shares to help fund the deal. The thinly trades stock was trading at $5.50 per share early Monday.

The merger would add Heritage's three branches to Hamilton's existing four.

Peter Kenny, Heritage's president and chief executive, would join First Bank as an employee and board member following the transaction, the companies said. One additional Heritage director would also join First Bank's board.

Heritage's "focus on relationship lending to quality commercial borrowers, with a particular emphasis on commercial and industrial lending, fits perfectly with the First Bank model," said First Bank President and Chief Executive Patrick Ryan in a news release. "Heritage has created a platform that can become a real engine for growth and profitability as we leverage the improved infrastructure and administration capabilities of the combined franchise."

Hovde Group advised First Bank and Keefe, Bruyette & Woods advised Heritage on the deal.

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