Transformational deals make a lot of sense in the bleak banking environment, but that doesn't mean they are an easy sell.

Provident New York Bancorp's (PBNY) $344 million, all-stock deal for Sterling Bancorp (STL) would meld two similarly sized banks with different specialties into a $6.5 billion-asset powerhouse in the New York City region. It would go a long way toward remaking Provident, a thrift, into a commercial lender and fulfill Chief Executive Jack Kopnisky's aspiration of doubling its assets through acquisitions.

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