Photo: The headquarters of Belmont Savings Bank in Belmont Center.
Belmont Savings Bank, the town’s largest business with nearly $3 billion in assets, will be acquired by Bridgeport, Connecticut-based People’s United Bank for $327 million in a stock transaction, according to a press release from People’s United issued today, Tuesday, Nov. 27.
People’s United operates more than 400 branches in Connecticut, southeastern New York State, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire. It is the second largest bank in New England with approximately $45 billion in assets at the end of 2017, one of the largest in the Northeast, and the 46th largest in the US.
While People’s will be introducing its name and management to the bank, “Belmont Savings will be operating business as usual through the closing which is currently anticipated to be in the second quarter of 2019, pending regulatory approval,” according to questions answered by the People’s Corporate Communications Office. In addition, there “are no plans to close any [of the six] branches” including the main branch and now former headquarters in Belmont Center.
The Belmont Savings Bank Foundation, which has been a leading provider of grants to non-profits, community projects and education in its service area, will “remain independent and continue to operate after the People’s United acquisition,” noted People’s.
“People’s United Bank and Belmont share a rich history in the Northeast and many synergies that will create significant value for both customers and stockholders,” said Bob Mahoney, President & CEO, BSB Bancorp, Inc.in the press release.
“Our customers will benefit from People’s United’s broader array of products and services, enhanced digital capabilities and expansive branch network. In addition, People’s United’s success with in-store locations will allow for the seamless integration of our Star Market branches.”
The acquisition is a stock transaction in which BSB Bancorp, Inc. stockholders – the parent company of Belmont Savings – will receive two shares of People’s United Financial stock for each BSB share. According to the press release, the transaction is valued at $32.42 per BSB Bancorp, Inc. share, based on the closing price of People’s United’s common stock on Monday, Nov. 26. The stock transaction is expected to close by the second quarter of 2019.
BSB stock was trading at 2 p.m. at $31 per share, up $4.14 or 15.4 percent today.
The sale of Belmont Savings is not unexpected as large regional banks such as People’s and Berkshire Bank have been on a long-term acquisition campaign as they seek to break into the lucrative Boston market.