Univest Corp. of Pennsylvania in Souderton has agreed to buy Fox Chase Bancorp in Hatboro, Pa., for $244.3 million.

The $2.9 billion-asset Univest will pay cash and stock for the $1.1 billion-asset Fox Chase. Shareholders of Fox Chase can receive either $21 per share in cash or 0.9731 shares of Univest for each of their shares, or a combination. The payment election is conditioned on Fox Chase shareholders receiving, in aggregate, a combination of 40% cash and 60% stock.

The companies expect the deal to close in the third quarter.

The acquisition will be accretive to Univest's earnings in the first full year of operations, minus merger-related costs. Univest projected 7% earnings accretion by 2017. Univest said it will recover the dilution to its tangible book value within five years.

Thomas Petro, Fox Chase's chief executive, will join Univest's board, along with two additional Fox Chase directors. Roger Deacon, chief financial officer at Fox Chase, will become CFO at Univest. That position had been vacant since Michael Keim was promoted to Univest's CEO in October.

Griffin Financial Group advised Univest and Stevens & Lee was legal counsel. Piper Jaffray advised Fox Chase and Luse Gorman was legal counsel.

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