Buffalo, NY-headquartered M&T Bank Corp. has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Provident Bankshares Corp., based in Baltimore, MD, in a stock transaction worth around $401 million as of Dec. 16. M&T, which has $65.2 billion in assets and 177 branches, will add Provident’s 143 branches plus $4.6 billion in deposits and $4.73 billion in loans once the merger is complete sometime in the second quarter of 2009. The deal will give M&T an internal rate of return on the investment of more than 16 percent. “This comfortably exceeds our cost of capital,” according to Rene F. Jones, CFO at M&T.

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