NEWARK, N.J. - First Fidelity Bancorp. said its principal subsidiary, First Fidelity Bank, completed the acquisition of the 24 branches and $1 billion in deposits in Maryland of Household Bank.

First Fidelity paid $76.1 million for the deposits, subject to an adjustment based on Household's deposit totals during the five business days prior to closing.

First Fidelity, which operates 38 branches in Maryland, said the acquisition would be accretive to earnings within four months of closing.

With the combination of Household and First Fidelity, including the consolidation of nine branch offices serving overlapping market areas, First Fidelity will operate a Maryland network of 53 branches with about $2.6 billion in deposits.

Earlier this month, First Fidelity said it would merge with First Union Corp., Charlotte, N.C.

Following the merger, First Union would operate the fourth-largest banking system in Maryland with 85 branches and about $4 billion in deposits.

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