Hamilton Bancorp in Towson, Md., has agreed to buy Fraternity Community Bancorp in Baltimore.

The $358 million-asset Hamilton said in a press release Tuesday that it will pay $27 million in cash, or $19.25 a share, for the $142 million-asset Fraternity Community. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

"We are very excited to continue our growth strategy to build a strong local community bank with increased earnings and shareholder value," Robert DeAlmeida, Hamilton's president and chief executive, said in the release. "Fraternity is a natural fit for us. … The merger allows Hamilton to leverage our existing presence in Baltimore County and Baltimore City while expanding to Howard County."

Hamilton agreed in April to buy Fairmount Bancorp in Baltimore, which had been under pressure from Joseph Stilwell to sell itself. Stilwell has also been influential at Fraternity Community, convincing the company last year to put one of his representatives on the board.

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods and Luse Gorman advised Hamilton. Sandler O'Neill and Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton advised Fraternity Community.

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