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ConnectOne Bancorp takes over Greater Hudson Bank in US$76.3mln deal

The deal gives ConnectOne access to the Hudson Valley region of New York, which lies directly north of New York City
illustration for mergers and acquisitions with big fish eating little fish
The combined bank will boast deposits of US$4.2bn

ConnectOne Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:CNOB) is widening its reach in the Hudson Valley region of New York, with the acquisition of Greater Hudson Bank (OTCQX:GHDS).

The all-stock deal announced Thursday will greatly expand the New Jersey-based Connect One’s operations in the rural area north of New York City and extend its push into lending for small businesses.

Together, the combined bank will boast assets of US$5.7bn, deposits of US$4.2bn and loans of US$4.5bn.

“Greater Hudson is a strong strategic fit for ConnectOne and allows the company to establish scale in the Hudson Valley region, add respected, talented bankers, establish a small business line of business and further enhance our commercial and investment lending capabilities,” said Frank Sorrentino, ConnectOne’s CEO.

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Under the terms of the tie-up, ConnectOne Bank will issue 0.245 of its shares for each share of Greater Hudson Bank, which values the transaction at roughly US$76.3mln based on ConnectOne’s closing price of US$25.15 Wednesday.

ConnectOne sees the deal adding about 2.5% to its earnings per share once the merger is completed.

Piper Jaffray & Co served as a financial advisor to ConnectOne while Keefe, Bruyette & Woods advised Greater Hudson.

Greater Hudson’s main line of work is offering small business loans, commercial mortgages and business credit lines to Hudson Valley-based businesses, non-profits and municipal agencies.

Based in Bergen County, New Jersey, Connect One, meanwhile, is a commercial bank which now has 21 locations across New Jersey and New York.

ConnectOne shares inched up 1.2% to US$25.54 in morning trade while the thinly-traded shares of Greater Hudson Bank remained unchanged at US$5.35.

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