Massachusetts mutual gains executive talent with latest merger

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Abington Bank in Massachusetts has agreed to merge into Hometown Financial Group in Easthampton, Mass.

Abington said in a press release Wednesday that it will merge with Pilgrim Bank, another institution the $2.4 billion-asset Hometown recently acquired. The combined bank will have six branches and $600 million in assets when the merger is completed.

Financial terms of the merger were not disclosed.

Andrew Raczka, CEO of the $315 million-asset Abington, will have the same title at the combined bank; he will also become Hometown's president. Abington’s board will remain in place and the combined bank will be based in Abington, operating as an unit of Hometown.

Raczka and Paul Sullivan, Abington’s chairman, will join Hometown’s board.

"Our combined resources and expanded branch network will enable us to better serve customers in Plymouth and Norfolk counties," Raczka said in the release. "We will have the size and scale needed to be a meaningful player in this market and be able to offer the products and services our customers need with the local commitment they deserve. This transaction will allow us to truly set ourselves apart from the competition."

The three Pilgrim branches would keep the Pilgrim brand.

Buying Pilgrim Bank marked Hometown’s entry into eastern Massachusetts.

"From the start, we knew that finding the right mutual partner would be the key to our success with our acquisition of Pilgrim Bancshares,” Matthew Sosik, Hometown's president and CEO, said in the release. Raczka "and his board are well known and respected bankers in this market, they know the region, and they have experience with bank mergers and integrations."

Sosik said in an interview last year that he was interested in buying more banks in eastern Massachusetts.

Once the deal closes, Hometown will have $2.7 billion in assets and 30 branches in Massachusetts and northeastern Connecticut.

Luse Gorman advised Abington. Nutter McClennen & Fish advised Hometown and Pilgrim.

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