WSFS Financial, an American financial services company, has agreed to acquire Philadelphia-based Beneficial Bancorp in a cash-cum-stock deal worth around $1.5bn.
The firms said that simultaneously, Beneficial Bank, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Beneficial Bancorp, will merge into Delaware-based WSFS Bank, which in turn is a subsidiary of WSFS.
The combination of the two banks is expected to create a large locally-based community bank for the Greater Delaware Valley that will have the sixth-largest deposit market share.
Both the banks offer retail, commercial and mortgage products while providing specialized solutions that will round out the full service product offerings of the combined bank, post merger.
WSFS maintains 77 offices, which includes 60 banking offices that are mainly located in Delaware and southeastern Pennsylvania.
On the other hand, Beneficial has 72 offices, including 61 banking offices that are primarily located in the City of Philadelphia and nearby communities in southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey.
The two banks, put together, have more than over 350 years of banking history.
WSFS said that in addition to the acquisition, it is also concurrently implementing a technology transformation to gain a competitive advantage and cope up with fast-changing customer needs.
WSFS executive vice president and chief operating officer Rodger Levenson said: “Our combination with Beneficial creates the ideal opportunity to transform WSFS’ Customer delivery and back office systems that will secure our competitive edge in a fast-changing financial services industry.
“This combination and the complementary technological investment aligns with WSFS’ proven strategy of accelerating investment spending over the short-term to deliver superior long-term returns for WSFS Owners.”
As per the terms of the deal, Beneficial shareholders will be issued 0.3013 shares of WSFS common stock along with $2.93 in cash in exchange of each share they hold in Beneficial. The deal has been approved unanimously by boards of directors of both firms.
Beneficial president and CEO Gerard Cuddy said: “We strongly believe there is value in partnering with WSFS and combining the strengths of our institutions. This is a sound decision for Beneficial, our stockholders, our employees and the communities we serve.
“We are combining with WSFS because it is an established institution with deep roots in the Delaware Valley, shares our values, and has the utmost respect for Beneficial’s legacy.”