November 28, 2018

People's United buying Boston lender

HBJ Photo | Joe Cooper
HBJ Photo | Joe Cooper
People's United Bank at 1 Financial Plaza in downtown Hartford.

Bridgeport's People's United Financial Inc. says it will pay about $327 million in stock for Boston's tiny Belmont Savings Bank to widen People's suburban footprint there.

When consummated by next summer, subject to the usual regulator/shareholder reviews and approvals, the purchase of Belmont's $3 billion-asset parent, BSB Bancorp Inc., will be People's second acquisition in a year.

People's United in October completed its $544 million all-stock merger with former First Connecticut Bancorp, parent of Farmington Bank. People's United now claims about $47 billion in assets.

With the pending BSB deal, People's United counts 14 acquisitions in the last decade.

Established in 1885, Belmont is a community lender with six branches in greater Boston, where People's United has a limited presence.

"The acquisition will deepen and expand our presence in the Greater Boston area, particularly in the suburbs west of the city, which are attractive banking markets,'' said People's United Chairman and CEO Jack Barnes.

Under deal terms, BSB stockholders will receive two shares of People's United stock for each BSB share. The transaction is valued at $32.42 per BSB share, based on Monday's closing price of People's United's common.

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. served as financial advisor and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP served as legal counsel to People's United.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as financial advisor and Luse Gorman P.C. legal adviser to BSB Bancorp.

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