Maryland's F&M Bancorp said Tuesday it has a deal to buy Patapsco Valley Bancshares in Ellicott City, Md., for $47 million in stock.

Patapsco Valley, the parent of CFBank, has $174 million of assets and eight branches in central Maryland. CFBank would be merged into Farmers & Mechanics National Bank, a subsidiary of Frederick-based F&M.

F&M, which has $1.5 billion of assets, operates 44 branches in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Faye E. Cannon, president and chief executive officer, said her company is eager to expand its presence in Patapsco's native Howard County, a suburb of both Washington and Baltimore that has been one of the fastest-growing parts of the state in recent years.

Farmers & Mechanics has two branches in Howard County and ranks 15th in deposit share there. This deal would give it 6% of the county's deposits, vaulting it to fifth in share.

The deal is expected to be completed early in 2000.

-- Louis Whiteman

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