Ridgewood Financial Inc. of Ridgewood, N.J., which agreed in August to be bought by Provident Savings Bank of Jersey City, announced Friday that it is weighing an unsolicited offer from Boiling Springs Bancorp.
Boiling Springs, of Rutherford, N.J., announced Sept. 21 that it had offered $26.9 million in cash, or $18 a share, for $282 million-asset Ridgewood Financial. That topped Providents cash offer, announced Aug. 28, of $24 million, or $15 a share the companys book value.
In making its announcement Friday, Ridgewood Financial said it had signed a confidentiality agreement with $636 million-asset Boiling Springs that allows the companies to discuss the offer and examine each others books.
Ridgewood had said Thursday that it wanted more details from the Rutherford company, including whether Boiling Springs would cover any payments due Provident if Ridgewood terminates their deal and whether Boiling Springs would reimburse Ridgewood for expenses incurred in negotiating the agreement with Provident.
Boiling Springs did not return phone calls from American Banker.
Meanwhile, Provident, a mutually owned thrift with assets of $2.7 billion, is essentially moving forward with the same plan, chief operating and financial officer Kevin J. Ward said in an interview Friday. We have no immediate plans to make a counteroffer.