Investors Bancorp (ISBC) in Short Hills, N.J., has received approval from the Federal Reserve Board to buy Roma Financial (ROMA) in Robbinsville, N.J.

The $13.8 billion-asset Investors said late Monday that it expects to complete the long-awaited acquisition on Dec. 6. Still, the companies also agreed to extend the period where they can terminate the merger to Dec. 31 from Nov. 30.

Investors agreed to buy the $1.7 billion-asset Roma, located in southern New Jersey near Philadelphia, in April. But the deal, which was originally expected to close in the second quarter, had a fair share of hiccups that included shareholder litigation, a check-kiting scandal at Roma and protests by an activist group over lending practices to minorities.

Investors has also been considering a second-step conversion, though those plans largely relied on it completing the Roma deal because the company can no longer by mutual after it converts.

Several other banking companies, including United Bancshares (UBSI) in Charleston, W.Va., and Mercantile Bank (MBWM) in Grand Rapids, Mich., have pushed back the completion dates for acquisitions after reporting delays getting Fed approval.

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