Berkshire Hills Bancorp, the parent of Berkshire Bank, has agreed to acquire SI Financial Group (SIFI) and its subsidiary, Savings Institute Bank and Trust, in an all-stock deal worth $180m.
The merger is expected to increase the total assets of the Massachusetts-based Berkshire to $13.6bn following the addition of the $1.6bn worth assets to be contributed by SIFI. As of 30 September 2018, SIFI reported $1.3bn in loans and $1.3bn in deposits.
Its acquisition will expand Berkshire’s footprint with 18 branches in Eastern Connecticut and five branches in Rhode Island to go along with the bank holding company’s existing nine branches in Connecticut.
Berkshire CEO Richard Marotta said: “This transaction is a natural fit and brings with it a stable, longstanding deposit base with leading market position. The Savings Institute franchise strengthens our Northeast presence, as we gain scale in Connecticut and enter into attractive Rhode Island markets.
“Savings Institute is a well-established and trusted financial institution with deep client and community relationships.”
Founded in 1842, Savings Institute Bank and Trust, which is headquartered in Willimantic, Connecticut, provides a range of financial services to individuals, businesses and municipalities through its 23 branches.
SIFI president and CEO Rheo Brouillard said: “We’re excited to be joining with a successful regional bank that shares our commitment to community and customer service.
“Like Savings Institute, Berkshire Bank was established in the mid to late 1800s and has grown over the years as a result of that commitment. The combination of our two banks will provide greater convenience and a broader array of products to our customers who will continue to have the personalized service they have come to expect.”
Berkshire Hills has 115 branches across Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. It offers personal and business banking, insurance, and wealth management services.
Additionally, the company provides mortgages and specialized commercial lending services.
As per the merger terms, each of SIFI’s shares will be exchanged for 0.48 shares of Berkshire Hills.
Subject to the approval of SIFI’s shareholders, as well as state and federal regulatory agencies, the transaction is likely to be completed in the second quarter of 2019.
Piper Jaffray & Co. advised Berkshire on the transaction, while legal counsel was provided by Luse Gorman, PC.
Keefe, Bruyette & Woods advised SIFI, and legal counsel was provided by Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton.