WINDSOR, Conn. - New England Community Bancorp will buy Equity Bank of Wethersfield, Conn., for about $8.4 million in stock.

Equity, with $109 million of assets, will operate as a subsidiary of $217 million-asset New England Community, the parent of New England Bank and Trust Co. Each subsidiary will retain its current board of directors and its management.

New England Community would wind up with operations in eight communities. It would be the second-largest commercial bank holding company based in Connecticut.

Each of Equity's 612,000 shares is to be exchanged for 1.75 shares of New England stock. The deal price is about 92% of Equity's Dec. 31 book value.

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