COHOES, N.Y. - Cohoes Bancorp said Friday that shareholders have rejected the thrift's agreement to merge with Hudson River Bancorp.
At a shareholder meeting Thursday, 47.52% of outstanding Cohoes stock was voted in favor of the merger, falling short of the 50% needed to approve the deal, according to a statement released by the company. About 32% either voted against or abstained, the company said.
The $727 million-asset thrift has been the target of a bidding war ever since it announced its proposed merger-of-equals deal with $1.1 billion-asset Hudson River in April. In June, Trustco Bank Corp. of Schenectady made bids for both thrifts, offering stock-swaps that valued shares of Hudson River at $14 and Cohoes at $16. Ambanc Holding Co. in Amsterdam also weighed in, making an all-cash offer of $16.50 for Cohoes. Cohoes rejected the offers and said it remained committed to its deal with Hudson River, which valued its shares at $11.
Harry L. Robinson, Cohoes president and chief executive officer, said in a statement that the board was disappointed the deal did not receive the requisite votes and that it would seek to "determine the best way to proceed on behalf of all shareholders."
The company intends to repurchase 10% of its outstanding shares in order to "keep all of our options open," Mr. Robinson said in the statement.
Separately, Hudson River Bancorp shareholders "overwhelmingly approved" the merger with Cohoes at its annual meeting Thursday, the company said.