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Berkshire Hills Acquires Connecticut Bank

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Hills Bancorp Inc. is acquiring Connecticut Bank & Trust Co. for about $30 million. The financial institutions announced on Tuesday they had signed a merger agreement.

Berkshire Hills is the area's largest local banking concern, with assets of more than $4 billion and more than 60 branches in Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont. Connecticut Bank is valued at $283 million and operates eight offices in the Hartford area.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, 70 percent of the outstanding Connecticut shares will be exchanged for Berkshire shares at a fixed exchange ratio of 0.3810 Berkshire shares for each share of Connecticut. The remaining 30 percent of Connectict shares will be exchanged for cash in the amount of $8.25 per share.

This the latest round of mergers for Berkshire Bank's parent. Berkshire Hills merged with Legacy Banks last year.  (Four of Legacy's branches have been taken over by NBT Bank.)

Berkshire's President and Chief Executive Officer Michael P. Daley said expanding into Connecticut has been a long-term goal.

"We will now have a total of 20 branches serving the Hartford/Springfield area, the second largest economic area in New England," he said. "CBT has built a solid franchise in the greater Hartford area, and this combination will provide more lending capacity and product diversity to this market. Like CBT, Berkshire has a local focus and a strong record of community involvement. Based on our demonstrated success in our other regional markets, we are well positioned to build our presence in Hartford."

Consummation of the agreement is subject to the approval of CBT's shareholders, as well as state and federal regulatory agencies. The merger is expected to be completed early in the second quarter of 2012.

Read the full press release on PRNewsWire.
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