An investor group with historical ties to Boston Private Financial Holdings has agreed to buy Admirals Bank in Boston.

The group, known as First Boston Holdings, said in a press release Thursday that it also plans to raise $100 million. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter, after which the $446 million-asset Admirals will be renamed Bank & Trust Company of Boston. First Boston did not disclose the price.

First Boston said the rebranded bank will emphasize individuals and families, the nonprofit sector, small and midsize businesses and professional service firms.

"We believe Boston needs its own premier bank with headquarters and roots right here in the city, with a sole strategic focus on serving the greater Boston region," said Mark Thompson, a former CEO of Boston Private who will have the same title at Bank & Trust Company of Boston.

Thompson retired from Boston Private in December after serving as its CEO for less than a year. At the time, Thompson said he was leaving the $7 billion-asset company to "pursue other facets of my life that I have left unattended while building the bank, [including] focusing more on my charitable and community work."

John Sullivan, another former Boston Private executive, will serve as chief banking officer. William Shea, a former vice chairman and chief financial officer at Bank of Boston, will become the bank's chairman.

First Boston noted that the acquisition will not include Admirals' solar equipment and home improvement financing operation, which will be spun off to an unnamed entity.

Piper Jaffray advised Bank & Trust Company of Boston, while Seyfarth Shaw advised First Boston. Sandler O'Neill and Debevoise & Plimpton advised Admirals.


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