WYOMISSING, Pa. -- Sovereign Bancorp said it has signed a letter of intent to acquire Harmonia Bancorp. of Kenilworth, N.J., in a stock swap valued at $82 million.

Sovereign, with assets of about $1.8 billion, has 30 community banking offices throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and greater Princeton, N.J., and is the largest thrift holding company with headquarters in Pennsylvania.

Harmonia has assets of about $800 million with 17 community banking offices located throughout central New Jersey in Union, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Mercer counties.

The company said a definitive agreement is expected to be signed by July 1.

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