Lakeland Bancorp in Oak Ridge, N.J., has agreed to buy Harmony Bank in Jackson, N.J.

The $4.3 billion-asset Lakeland said in a press release Thursday that it will pay $32 million, or $12.79 a share, in stock for the $295 million-asset Harmony. The deal is expected to close late in the second quarter or early in the third quarter.

The deal is expected to be 1% accretive to Lakeland's 2017 earnings per share. It should take Lakeland three and a half years to earn back the expected 0.5% dilution to its tangible book value.

"This merger is consistent with our recent initiatives to expand into desirable markets and leverages our highly successful loan production office … covering neighboring Middlesex and Monmouth counties" in New Jersey, Thomas Shara, Lakeland's president and chief executive, said in the release.

Lakeland completed the acquisition of Pascack Bancorp last month.

Sandler O'Neill and Lowenstein Sandler advised Lakeland. Raymond James and Day Pitney advised Harmony.

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