Two thrifts that have been competing with each other in Hazleton, Pa., for more than six decades are merging.

Northeast Pennsylvania Financial Corp., with $670 million of assets, said Friday that it has a deal to buy Security of Pennsylvania Corp. for $23.8 million. Northeast is the parent of First Federal Bank, a thrift founded in 1935, and Security is the parent of Security Savings Association, a $134 million-asset thrift founded in 1889.

The combined company would have close to $475 million of deposits. The companies expect to save $1.3 million in a year in expenses, a 40% reduction.

Security shareholders would receive $17.50 for each share owned.

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