After a false start, Eastern Bancorp., Lynn, Mass., announced a deal Thursday to buy Emerald Isle Bancorp for $80 million in cash.
The $2.4 billion-asset Eastern made an unsuccessful bid for Quincy, Mass.-based Emerald Isle in the spring. Talks resumed over the past four weeks and a deal was struck Thursday night, said Stanley J. Lukowski, Eastern's chairman, president, and chief executive officer.
The acquisition, Eastern's first in three years, is expected to close in February. The prospect of a deal drove shares of Emerald Isle, the parent company for Hibernia Savings Bank, up $6.38 Thursday, to $31.88.
Mr. Lukowski said Eastern wants to buy $444 million-asset Emerald Isle for its nine branches on Boston's South Shore. Eastern's 33 branches are on the North Shore.
"Eastern has an objective of becoming a Greater Boston bank over the next five to 10 years," Mr. Lukowski said. "We needed to establish a presence on the South Shore."