Putnam County Savings Bank in Brewster, N.Y., has agreed to buy CMS Bancorp in White Plains, N.Y.

The $25.4 million cash deal is expected to strengthen the $976 million-asset Putnam's presence in the northern suburbs of New York City, where the $273 million-asset CMS has five branches. The deal is expected to close in the first half of next year.

"This transaction provides an excellent platform for further growth and will expand our franchise in the Westchester County market," Joseph Roberto, Putnam's president and chief executive, said in a press release Thursday.

Under the agreement, one CMS director will join the Putnam board. No additional leadership changes were announced.

CMS last year struck a deal to sell itself to the $5.6 billion-asset Customers Bancorp in Wyomissing, Pa., but that deal was later terminated due to regulatory delays.

The Putnam acquisition also comes a month after the unexpected death of Stephen Dowd, who had been the chief financial officer at CMS.

Luse Gorman Pomerenk & Schick and FinPro Capital Advisors advised Putnam. Paul Hastings and Sandler O'Neill advised CMS.

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