Allied Irish Banks PLC re-entered the merger sweepstakes on Tuesday with its biggest acquisition ever - a $1.36 billion cash-and-stock deal for Dauphin Deposit Corp.

The acquisition of the $6 billion-asset company, based in Harrisburg, Pa., would boost Allied Irish's U.S. assets to $17 billion and expand its presence in fast-growing markets of south-central Pennsylvania. The Dublin bank, which has $41 billion of assets worldwide, said it expects to complete the acquisition by Sept. 30.

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