Community bank Investors Bancorp Inc. (ISBC) agreed to acquire Piraeus Bank S.A.'s (TPEIR.AT) Marathon Banking Corp. unit for $135 million in cash, a move that doubles its presence in New York.
Marathon Banking holds Marathon National Bank of New York, which has 13 branches in the New York metropolitan area.
"This transaction is a continuation of our strategy of expansion into the New York markets and more than doubles our existing New York branch network," said President and Chief Executive Kevin Cummings.
Piraeus, a large Greek bank reeling from the country's ongoing debt woes, hired Keefe, Bruyette & Woods to shop the bank to prospective buyers, American Banker reported in May, citing industry sources. Marathon was expected to fetch $90 million to $140 million, the sources said at the time. Among the companies with operations around New York City that had expressed interest in Marathon: People's United Financial in Bridgeport, Conn. (PBCT); New York Community Bancorp (NYB) in Westbury, N.Y., and Investors, the sources had said. Other possible suitors had been expected, too.
Short Hills, N.J-based Investors Bancorp expects to close the deal in the fourth quarter. After which, it will have 22 New York branches representing 22% of its total network. The company currently has $11.3 billion in assets and more than 85 retail branches.
Investors Bancorp also estimates the purchase will add about 5% to its adjusted 2013 earnings and 7% to its 2014 profit.
Shares of Investors closed Thursday at $14.84 and were inactive in premarket trading. The stock is up 10% so far this year.