New Hampshire Thrift Bancshares has agreed to buy Lebanon, N.H.-based Landmark Bank for $5.7 million and merge it into its Lake Sunapee Bank subsidiary.

The combined institution will have $316 million in assets and $254 million in deposits, with 12 branches in four New Hampshire counties. New Hampshire Thrift has $260 million in assets, while Landmark has $55 million.

New Hampshire Thrift president Stephen W. Ensign said officials viewed the transaction as "a good in-market consolidation. It just makes good business sense."

Under the agreement, Landmark shareholders will receive either $12 in cash per share or New Hampshire Thrift stock according to an exchange ratio. The total payment to Landmark shareholders will be 60% stock and 40% cash.

The purchase is expected to add to New Hampshire Thrift's earnings immediately. The acquisition, which is still subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, is expected to be completed at the end of the year.

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