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ESSA Bancorp to acquire First Star for $24.2m

ESSA Bancorp, the parent company of ESSA Bank & Trust, has agreed to acquire First Star Bancorp for $24.2m.

First Star Bancorp offers a full array of commercial and retail financial services, including originating commercial, consumer and mortgage loans secured by residential properties.

The acquisition will add nine full service locations, all in the Lehigh Valley, to ESSA Bancorp’s existing 17-branch network.

As part of the acquisition, Joseph Svetik, president and CEO of First Star Bancorp will join the board of directors of ESSA Bancorp and ESSA Bank & Trust.

The merger is expected to be accretive to ESSA Bancorp’s earnings, exclusive of merger related costs, in the second half of 2012.

ESSA president and CEO Gary Olson said that merging with First Star, an established institution with nine branches and deposits of $320m, will enable ESSA Bank & Trust to establish a greatly expanded banking presence in the Lehigh Valley.

The transaction, subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in mid-2012.