BALTIMORE — Fierce proxy fights have marred Provident Bankshares’ last two annual meetings, but a repeat this year seems unlikely now that the $5.5 billion-asset company has agreed to buy back the shares of its most vocal stockholder.

The $33.6 million repurchase agreement announced this week effectively ended speculation over whether Jerry Shearer, the managing partner of Mid-Atlantic Investors, would advocate another sell-the-bank proposal this year, after trying last year and in 1999. Provident said it would repurchase 1.4 million shares — 5.4% of its stock — from Mid-Atlantic, which is based in Columbia, S.C., for $23.8568 each, last Friday’s average price.

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