Flushing adding to Long Island operations with latest acquisition

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Flushing Financial in Uniondale, N.Y., has agreed to buy Empire Bancorp in Islandia, N.Y.

The $7 billion-asset Flushing said in a press release Friday that it will pay $111.6 million in cash and stock for the $1 billion-asset Empire. The deal, which is expected to close in the second quarter, priced Empire at 140% of its tangible book value.

Flushing will enter Long Island’s Suffolk County when the deal closes.

Empire has four branches, $681 million in loans and $925 million in deposits. Multifamily makes up 45% of its loan portfolio.

The deal is expected to be 10% accretive to Flushing’s 2020 earnings and 19% accretive in 2021. It should take about three years for Flushing to earn back a projected 7% dilution to its tangible book value.

Flushing expects to incur $18 million in merger-related charges. It plans to cut half of Empire’s annual noninterest expense.

Empire has “deep ties to the Long Island community and a strong track record of growth,” John Buran, Flushing’s president and CEO, said in the release.

“There are some strong synergies between our two organizations both culturally and operationally,” Buran added. “We both share a similar focus towards serving small- and medium-sized businesses and have a similar core customer base.”

Douglas Manditch, Empire’s chairman and CEO, will join Flushing’s board.

The announcement comes three months after Gold Coast Bancorp in Islandia agreed to sell to Investors Bancorp in Short Hills, N.J.

Deutsche Bank Securities and Arnold & Porter advised Flushing. Sandler O’Neill and Fenimore, Kay, Harrison & Ford advised Empire.

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