The acquisitive Hubco Inc. is buying Lafayette-American Bank and Trust Co., Bridgeport, Conn., for about $136 million in stock.

The $735 million-asset Lafayette, which has 19 branches in three southwestern Connecticut counties, is to operate as a subsidiary of New Jersey's Hubco, which has consolidated all its other acquisitions into Hudson United Bank.

The purchase is Hubco's first outside its northern New Jersey market and is also its biggest ever.

It also is a hop over tightly competitive New York City, although Hubco officials stress that the new market is similar to its existing one in New Jersey. Late last year, $1.8 billion-asset Hubco had also tried to enter the suburban New York market by buying MSB Bancorp, Goshen, but MSB rebuffed its offers.

Under the agreement, Lafayette shareholders would get 0.588 share of Hubco stock for each of their shares. The acquisition would be accounted for as a pooling of interests, with Hubco taking a merger and restructuring charge.

The acquisition, Hubco's 14th in the last five and a half years, is expected to close in the second or third quarter, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval. The company's latest previous deal, for Growth Financial Corp., closed Jan. 12.

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