Two Maine thrifts plan to merge as the state's fourth-largest financial institution.

Norway Bancorp of Norway, which has assets of $369 million, announced Monday that it has agreed to buy $217 million-asset First Coastal Corp. of Portland for $27 million in cash, or $21 a share.

First Coastal's stock soared on news of the deal. Late Monday it was trading at $20.03125, up 78% from its closing price Friday.

Robert Harmon, the president and chief executive officer of Norway Savings Bank, said the merger would allow both companies to expand their markets while keeping their community ties and identities.

First Coastal's headquarters would remain in Portland, and its Coastal Bank subsidiary would keep that name as a division of Norway Savings Bank. The combined company would have 18 offices in southern and western Maine.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.

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