Liberty Bank, headquartered in Middletown, Connecticut, and Southern Connecticut Bancorp, Inc., headquartered in New Haven, Connecticut (NYSE MKT: “SSE”), jointly announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement for the merger of Southern Connecticut Bancorp, Inc. and its subsidiary, The Bank of Southern Connecticut, with and into Liberty Bank.
Under terms of the agreement, upon completion of the merger, each shareholder of Southern Connecticut Bancorp, Inc. will receive $3.76 per share in cash, giving the transaction a value of approximately $11 million. The agreement has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Liberty Bank, Southern Connecticut Bancorp, Inc. and The Bank of Southern Connecticut.
“The merger of The Bank of Southern Connecticut with Liberty Bank will significantly expand our branch network and market share in New Haven County” said Liberty Bank President & CEO Chandler Howard. “We look forward to the opportunity to broaden the reach of our mission, which is based upon exceeding the expectations of our customers, treating our employees with care and respect, and giving back to the community through generous donations and volunteer time. Because we are a mutual non-stock company, we can focus on serving our three important constituents - customers, communities, and employees.”
“This combination represents a strategic fit as Liberty Bank seeks to grow its banking footprint in New Haven County. Together, we will be better able to serve the personal and business needs of customers with expanded financial resources and lending capacity, while maintaining a community banking approach. The footprint of the two franchises fit together well.”
Joseph Greco, Chief Executive Officer of Southern Connecticut Bancorp, Inc. and The Bank of Southern Connecticut, echoed those sentiments by saying, “Both banks share a commitment to customer service and to helping customers grow and prosper.” Greco went on to say, “This transaction will provide certainty and value to our shareholders and represents a significant market premium to the market price of our stock. Liberty Bank’s commitment to mutuality allows it to focus on customers, employees and the community. With its wide range of products and services for consumers, businesses, not-for-profits, and government entities, I am confident that our customers will be well served by this combination. The combined bank will be a larger and stronger institution, which will provide greater opportunities for our employees and more convenience for our customers.”
Liberty Bank is a Connecticut chartered mutual savings bank with $3.5 billion in assets and over $500 million in capital. Through its 44 branch network in Connecticut, Liberty Bank provides financial services to individuals, businesses, not-for-profit organizations and government entities through its commercial and consumer lending divisions, corporate services, retail banking and investment management services.
Southern Connecticut Bancorp, Inc., a bank holding company headquartered in New Haven, Connecticut, is the parent company of The Bank of Southern Connecticut, a Connecticut chartered bank with assets of approximately $120 million.
The Bank of Southern Connecticut is a commercial bank dedicated to serving the banking needs of businesses located along the Connecticut shoreline from New Haven to Rhode Island. The Bank of Southern Connecticut, which is headquartered in New Haven, Connecticut, is a provider of commercial banking services to a client base of small to mid-sized companies with annual sales typically ranging from $1,000,000 to $30,000,000. The Bank’s services include a wide range of deposit, loan and other basic commercial banking products along with a variety of consumer banking products. The Bank currently operates four branches: two in New Haven, Connecticut, one in Branford, Connecticut and one in North Haven, Connecticut.
The transaction is subject to approval by the shareholders of Southern Connecticut Bancorp, Inc., as well as customary regulatory approvals, including the State of Connecticut Department of Banking and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The transaction is expected to close in the second calendar quarter of 2013.
Southern Connecticut Bancorp, Inc. was advised by Sterne Agree & Leach, Inc. and its legal counsel was Day Pitney LLP, Hartford, CT. Liberty Bank was represented by Cranmore, FitzGerald & Meaney, Hartford, CT.