Sovereign Bancorp, a $14.2 billion-asset thrift holding company, announced an acquisition in New Jersey Friday, its second in a week.

Sovereign said it would pay $85 million in stock for First Home Bancorp, Pennsville. Last Monday, it announced a $94 million deal for Carnegie Bancorp, Princeton. Both deals are to close in the second quarter.

Sovereign has 150 community bank branches in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. Through acquisitions it has been expanding banking operations and getting into specialty businesses like automotive lending.

First Home, with $525 million of assets and $300 million of deposits, would add 10 community banking offices in Salem, Gloucester, and Camden counties in New Jersey and New Castle County, Delaware.

- Liz Moyer

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