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September 7, 2018

Farmington Bank to shed 27% of workforce after $544M People's United deal

Photo | Steve Laschever Farmington Bank CEO John Patrick Jr., who is departing his role after his bank is acquired by People's United. The $544 million deal is expected to close later this year, and could lead to branch closures.

Bridgeport-based People’s United Bank intends to lay off 95 Farmington Bank employees once its $544 million acquisition of the community lender is complete, according to a state Department of Labor filing.

It was not entirely clear whether any of the laid off employees would be rehired, but the notice described the layoffs as permanent. Efforts Friday afternoon to reach officials at both banks for comment were unsuccessful.

The banks told DOL that layoffs would begin Nov. 5, assuming its purchase of parent company First Connecticut Bancorp Inc. receives necessary approvals and closes as planned.

As of Dec. 31, 2017, Farmington Bank had 349 full-time employees, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The bank currently has 28 branches in Connecticut and western Massachusetts.

While the affected positions are based in Farmington Bank’s home office at One Farm Glen Blvd., the notice says, People’s United has said it may also eliminate branches that are close to its existing branches.

People’s United CEO Jack Barnes said in a June investor call that the bank would seek to reduce costs by eliminating redundant functions. He said 71 percent of Farmington Bank branches are within two miles of existing People’s branch locations, and all of them are within five miles.

Barnes said People’s would retain “many of Farmington Bank’s talented people who have driven the bank’s successful growth.”

The layoffs would wrap up in early March of next year, according to the DOL notice, which was signed by Farmington Bank CEO John Patrick Jr.

When the acquisition was announced , Patrick said he would leave the bank to pursue other interests, following the conclusion of the deal.

Jobs to be eliminated include four commercial loan operation coordinators, numerous supervisors, managers, technicians, analysts and others, the notice says.

Under the acquisition announced in June, First Connecticut shareholders will receive 1.725 shares of People's United stock for each of their shares. The deal is valued at $32.33 per First Connecticut share, based on People's United June 18 share closing price.

If approved, the deal would be at least the fourth acquisition for People's United in the last two years. People's has approximately 400 retail offices in six Northeast states and $44 billion in assets.

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