Patriot Bank Corp. said it plans to buy First Lehigh Corp. for $24.7 million in stock.

Patriot, based in Pottstown, Pa., would swap 0.428 share of stock for each common share of First Lehigh and 0.342 for each share of Lehigh preferred. The deal is expected to close by early next year.

First Lehigh, with $109 million of assets and five branches, has agreed to dispose of troubled assets before the closing and to increase its provision for possible loan losses. Based in Walnutport, Pa., it is the parent company of 75-year-old First Lehigh Bank.

Patriot, with $620 million of assets, operates 11 branches in Pennsylvania. Its subsidiary, 93-year-old Patriot Bank, was rechartered as a commercial bank in May 1997.

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