September 2018

Holyoke Bank to Acquire FNBS

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Photo by Lester Smith

The hospitality pineapples atop the sign posts and the garden in front of the bank’s home office in Suffield suggest the qualities that have made FNBS “Suffield’s Hometown Bank.”

PeoplesBancorp, MHC, the parent company of PeoplesBank, both of Holyoke, Massachusetts, and First Suffield Financial, Inc., the parent company of The First National Bank of Suffield, Connecticut, jointly announced on July 17 that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement for PeoplesBancorp to acquire First Suffield Financial and PeoplesBank to acquire The First National Bank of Suffield. The parties anticipate the transaction will close in the fourth quarter of 2018 or the first quarter of 2019.

Under the terms of the agreement, shareholders of First Suffield Financial, Inc. will receive $12,001.85 in cash per share, representing a total transaction value of approximately $60 million. The merger consideration represents approximately 202% of the First National Bank of Suffield’s tangible book value at March 31, 2018. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of state and federal regulatory approvals and approval by the shareholders of First Suffield Financial, Inc.

Tom Senecal, President, CEO and Chairman of the Board of PeoplesBank, stated, “We see this as a tremendous opportunity. The strategic fit between the organizations is compelling, and the compatibility of our award-winning corporate cultures should make for a seamless transition for our associates and our customers. The addition of an existing, successful branch network in northern Connecticut to our strong presence in the Pioneer Valley will allow us to offer our products and services to a wider audience, while deepening our commitment to the region as a whole.”

“Our merger with PeoplesBank offers outstanding value for our shareholders and, equally, if not more importantly, assures that our customers and communities will benefit from the wide range of products and commitment to service provided by PeoplesBank” said Dr. Douglas Viets, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the First National Bank of Suffield. “We look forward to working with the talented people of PeoplesBank to combine the best of both of our organizations.”

“Since our organization in 1864, The First National Bank of Suffield has successfully served our customers and the local communities,” stated Joseph Greco, President and CEO of The First National Bank of Suffield. “We recognize banking is a rapidly changing industry and to ensure our customers’ needs are fulfilled, while not losing our commitment to the communities we serve, we are merging with PeoplesBank and know that it is an organization which shares our commitment to service and community banking.”

Both institutions’ long- standing commitment to serve tier communities will remain vital to the combined organization’s future. In 2017, PeoplesBank donated almost $1 million to area non-profits. Its employees devoted more than 15,000 hours to volunteer work over the past two years and 48 of the bank’s officers serve on the boards of directors and committees of 115 non-profit organizations in the area. Upon completion of the transaction, PeoplesBank will expand its community development efforts in Suffield and the surrounding Connecticut communities.

The combined organization will have approximately $2.8 billion in assets and $1.9 billion in deposits. Upon completion of the transaction, one current member of the board of directors of First Suffield Financial will be appointed to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees of PeoplesBank and the Board of Directors of PeoplesBank. Following completion of the merger, the current branches of The First National Bank of Suffield will remain open and will conduct business under the trade name “First Suffield Bank, a Division of PeoplesBank.”

Sandler O’Neill + Partners, L.P. acted as financial advisor to PeoplesBank and PeoplesBancorp, MHC, and FinPro Capital Advisors, Inc. acted as financial advisor to The First National Bank of Suffield and First Suffield Financial, Inc. and rendered a fairness opinion to the Board of Directors of First Suffield Financial, Inc. in conjunction with this transaction. Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP served as legal counsel to PeoplesBank and PeoplesBancorp, MHC, and Cranmore, FitzGerald and Meaney served as legal counsel to The First National Bank of Suffield and First Suffield Financial, Inc.

About PeoplesBank

PeoplesBank, founded in 1885, provides deposit, lending and wealth management products and services to families and businesses throughout Massachusetts. With 18 banking offices in Western Massachusetts and assets exceeding $2.4 billion. PeoplesBank operates as a mutual bank, focused on, and responsible for, the success and best interest of its customers, employees and the communities it serves. For more information, visit www.bankatpeoples.com/home/home.

About First National Bank of Suffield

The First National Bank of Suffield was founded in 1864 and provides deposit, lending and wealth management products and services to families and businesses throughout Northern Connecticut. The First National Bank of Suffield, which has four offices and assets of approximately $275 million, provides financial services to individuals, municipalities, non-profit groups and commercial enterprises, generally within the Connecticut communities of Suffield, West Suffield, East Granby, and Windsor Locks. Our investment in these communities is a high priority of our Bank and its Board of Directors. For more information, visit www.fnbanksuffield.com


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