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Investors' acquisition will continue N.Y. expansion goals

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Investors Bancorp Inc. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Marathon Banking Corp. and its Astoria, N.Y.-based subsidiary, Marathon National Bank of New York, for $135 million in cash to gain 13 branches in New York.

Investors, based in the Short Hills section of Millburn, anticipates the acquisition — its sixth to date — will generate about 5 percent more earnings in 2013 and 7 percent more earnings in 2014. The company currently operates more than 85 retail branches, with $11.3 billion in assets.

In a statement, Investors President and CEO Kevin Cummings said the company's acquisition of Marathon Banking, which is the U.S. subsidiary of Greece-based Piraeus Bank S.A., is a "continuation of our strategy of expansion into the New York markets, and more than doubles our existing New York branch network."

Upon the transaction's completion, Investors will have 22 New York branches, representing 22 percent of its branch network with about $1.3 billion in deposits.

The merger has been approved by each company's board, and is anticipated to close in the fourth quarter of 2012, subject to regulatory approvals.

Marathon Banking CEO Paul Stathoulopoulos will join Investors' board of directors.

RBC Capital Markets LLC advised Investors in the merger, and Luse, Gorman, Pomerenk & Schick P.C. acted as its legal counsel. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods advised Piraeus Bank, and Linklaters acted as its legal counsel.

Write to the Editorial Department at editorial@njbiz.com

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