Sovereign Bancorp of Wyomissing, Pa., said this week that it plans to acquire Carnegie Bancorp of Princeton, N.J., for about $94 million in stock-or 2.82 times Carnegie's book value.

Sovereign, with $17.4 billion of assets, would exchange between 1.614 and 1.972 shares of stock for each share of Carnegie stock, depending on the value of Carnegie stock when the sale is completed. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

Carnegie, with $423 million of assets, operates seven community bank branches in New Jersey and one in Pennsylvania.

Sovereign has also agreed to buy ML Bancorp in Villanova, Pa. That transaction is expected to close in the first quarter.

Sovereign operates 180 branches in eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey.

Sovereign officials said the Carnegie acquisition would be accretive to earnings within two or three quarters.

- Alan Kline

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