Eastern Bank Corporation has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Wainwright Bank & Trust Company in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $163m.

Under the terms of the transaction, shareholders of Wainwright Bank & Trust Company will be entitled to receive $19 in cash in exchange for each share of Wainwright Bank & Trust Company common stock and common stock equivalents outstanding.

The combined organization will have more than 90 retail banking offices serving people and businesses across eastern Massachusetts, including 22 offices in the Boston metro area.

The completion of the merger is expected to occur in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2010. It is expected that Wainwright Bank & Trust Company will remain as a separate subsidiary of Eastern Bank Corporation for a transition period before it is merged into Eastern Bank.

Upon closing, Robert Glassman and John Plukas, co-founders and current co-chairmen of Wainwright Bank & Trust Company, are expected to join the board of directors of Eastern Bank Corporation and Eastern Bank. Jan Miller, president and CEO of Wainwright Bank & Trust Company, will become president of Eastern Bank Corporation and executive vice president of Eastern Bank.

Richard Holbrook, chairman and CEO of Eastern Bank, said: “By combining our two organizations, we will broaden our horizons and do even more to make our communities a better place to work and live, while providing our customers with top-notch banking, investment and insurance services. I cannot think of a more appropriate partnership than this one combining a 192-year-old mutual company with the banking industry’s leader on socially progressive issues.”

Mr Miller said: “The merger combines two banks with strong traditions of commitment to our customers, employees and the communities we serve. We are pleased that Eastern will maintain and continue to build upon Wainwright’s community development lending initiatives and deep commitment to issues of social justice.”