Provident New York Bancorp is ready to take a bite out of the Big Apple.

The Montebello, N.Y.-based bank is entering the New York City market with an agreement to buy Gotham Bank of New York, a commercial bank with one branch in midtown Manhattan.

After that, Provident will look to grow organically by hiring teams of lenders from other banks. The $3.1 billion-asset Provident is looking to add three to five teams and is poised to begin making announcements about the additions in coming weeks.

"New York City is a logical progression for us," said Jack Kopnisky, the president and chief executive of the Provident Bank unit. The bank currently has 38 branches in mostly lower New York state. "It holds a significant level of opportunities for a bank like ours."

Provident this fall hired David Bagatelle, a banker who has spent his entire career in this market, to head the expansion into New York. Bagatelle's resume includes helping to found Signature Bank, a company that has expanded largely by hiring from rivals teams of bankers who already have established books of business.

It was through Bagatelle's efforts that Provident was introduced to Gotham, Kopnisky said.

Kopnisky called the deal "moderately priced" at $40.5 million in cash, which is 125% of the tangible book value. This should result in an estimated 3.3% core deposit premium.

Provident was drawn to Gotham for its "very straightforward business model," Kopnisky said. Gotham is conservatively run with strong credit quality and relationships with the midsize and small businesses that Provident is looking to target, he added.

At Sept. 30, the $419 million-asset Gotham had $169 million of loans and $335 million of deposits. Additionally, less than 1% of Gotham's loans were not current and its Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio totaled 16.64% at Sept. 30, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

"We had the objective of having a platform in the city with an already conservative book of business that can be expanded," Kopnisky said.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter and should be accretive to earnings in the first year.

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