Ambanc Holding Co. of Amsterdam, N.Y., has become the highest bidder in a three-way contest for the coveted Cohoes Bancorp of Cohoes, N.Y.

The $740 million-asset Ambanc, which originally offered $15.25 per share for $727 million-asset Cohoes, raised its offer Thursday to $16.50 per share.

Cohoes agreed in April to a deal with Hudson River Bancorp of Hudson, N.Y., for $11 a share.

Trustco Bank Corp., a $2.3 billion-asset Schenectady, N.Y., company, has made stock offers valued at $16 per share for Cohoes and $14 per share for Hudson River.

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