Penseco Financial Services Corp. in Scranton, Pa., is buying the $220 million-asset Old Forge Bank in a deal that would combine two of northeast Pennyslvania's oldest financial institutions.

Penseco, the parent of the 106-year-old Penn Security Bank and Trust Co., said Friday that it would pay $58 million, or $103.76 a share, for Old Forge, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary on Jan. 1.

The acquisition would boost Penseco's assets to $860 million and its branch total from nine to 12. Craig Best, Penseco's president and chief executive officer, is to be the combined company's CEO.

In an overall slow year for bank acquisitions, activity in Pennsylvania has been brisk. The Penseco deal, expected to close in the second quarter, is the 10th combination of Pennsylvania banks announced this year.

It would be Penn Security Bank's first acquisition since the early 1970s, when it acquired two small Scranton-area banks, said Patrick Scanlan, a Penseco senior vice president. He said Penseco was one of several banking companies to bid on Old Forge, which had been shopping itself after the deaths of its chief operating officer last year and its longtime CEO, James Tedesco, this year.

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