Shareholders of both companies have overwhelmingly approved Peoples Heritage Financial Group's acquisition of Bank of New Hampshire Corp.

About 94% of Peoples shareholders and 99% of Bank of New Hampshire shareholders present at separate meetings voted in favor of the deal, which involves a tax-free exchange of two Peoples shares for each BNH share.

Regulatory approval is expected during the second quarter.

Under the deal, the Maine thrift's New Hampshire subsidiary, First Coastal Banks Inc., will merge into BNH. Following the merger, Peoples will have $4.3 billion in assets, with $1.7 billion in New Hampshire and the third-largest deposit share in that state.

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