The transaction will value Rockland Trust, a subsidiary of Independent Bank, at more than $20bn in assets and strengthen its position as a commercial bank in the Boston area


Independent to merge with Meridian Bancorp. (Credit: bertholdbrodersen from Pixabay.)

Independent Bank, the parent of Rockland Trust, has agreed to acquire Meridian Bancorp, the parent organisation of East Boston Savings Bank, in a deal worth $1.15bn.

Also, Rockland Trust will acquire the East Boston Savings Bank, which values the combined company at more than $20bn and strengthen its position in the Boston area.

Established in 1848, East Boston Savings Bank is a Massachusetts-chartered stock savings bank operating from 42 full-service locations, a mobile branch and three loan centres in the greater Boston metropolitan area.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, each Meridian Bancorp stockholder is expected to receive 0.2750 shares of Independent Bank common stock for each share of Meridian Bancorp common stock.

Independent Bank is expected to issue about 14.2 million shares of its common stock, as part of the proposed merger.

The value of the transaction is based on Independent Bank’s closing price of $79.57 per share, on 21 April 2021, and represents 150% of Meridian Bancorp’s tangible book value.

Independent Bank president and CEO Christopher Oddleifson said: “This merger is consistent with our strategy of acquiring banks in overlapping and adjacent markets who share our relationship-focused style of banking.

“East Boston Savings Bank has been committed to building meaningful connections with their customers since 1848 and we are excited to work alongside them to deepen those relationships with expanded products, services, and technology.

“At the same time, we look forward to increasing our presence in and around the city and reinforcing our position as the Boston area’s premier community-focused commercial bank.”

The transaction is anticipated to qualify as a tax-free reorganisation, to offer a tax-free exchange for the Independent common stock to be received by Meridian stockholders.

The merger is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory and shareholders approvals.

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, a Stifel company, served as a financial advisor, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz as a legal counsel to Independent Bank for the transaction.

Raymond James & Associates served as a financial advisor and Luse Gorman, PC as a legal counsel to Meridian Bancorp.

East Boston Savings Bank president and CEO Richard Gavegnano said: “This transaction brings together two strong banks with a long and rich history serving and investing in our local communities.

“We are excited to join a like-minded organisation dedicated to creating exceptional customer experiences, built on trust and quality service, while also providing an attractive return to our stockholders.”