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TMCNet:  Liberty Bank Acquires New Haven Community Bank

[January 17, 2013]

Liberty Bank Acquires New Haven Community Bank

Jan 17, 2013 (The Hartford Courant - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Liberty Bank has reached an agreement to acquire a community bank in New Haven, giving the Middletown-based bank its first branches in the Elm City.
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Liberty announced late Wednesday that it had reached a definitive agreement to acquire Southern Connecticut Bancorp, Inc., the parent of The Bank of Southern Connecticut in a deal valued at $11 million.

The deal, if approved by Southern Connecticut shareholders and regulators, would increase Liberty's assets of $3.5 billion by $120 million. The acquisition would add four branches -- two in New Haven and one each in Branford and North Haven -- to Liberty's 44-branch network.

Liberty, a mutual bank essentially owned by its depositors, would pay $3.76 in cash for each Southern Connecticut share. Southern Connecticut is a publicly-traded company.

The price paid represents a premium over the Wednesday's closing price of $2.48 a share. Shares soared $1.14, or 46 percent, to $3.62 in mid-morning trading.

Chandler Howard, Liberty Bank's president and chief executive, said the deal fits the bank's strategy to build its market share in New Haven County and represents a logical extension of Liberty's branch network, now most heavily concentrated in central Connecticut.

"Together, we will be able to serve the personal and business needs of customers with expanded financial resources and lending capacity, while maintaining a community banking approach," Howard said. "The footprint of the two franchises fit together well." ___ (c)2013 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.) Visit The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.) at www.courant.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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