NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

April 16, 2014

Institution to buy Rockport National Bank

NEWBURYPORT — The Institution for Savings is poised to make a major expansion: It plans to acquire Rockport National Bank, under an agreement announced by the Newburyport regional financial institution late yesterday afternoon.

The agreement would create a single institution with 11 branches stretching from Salisbury to Gloucester and Rockport, with assets totaling $1.6 billion. The bank would remain headquartered in Newburyport.

The deal, according to the Institution for Savings, is an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $28.3 million.

The agreement requires approval from at least two-thirds of the Rockport-based bank’s shareholders, as well as customary regulatory approvals, before the deal is finalized, Institution for Savings officials said in their announcement. But these are expected to be completed in the last quarter of 2014, the Institution for Savings statement indicated.

Michael J. Jones, Institution for Savings president and chief executive officer, said the Newburyport-based bank is looking forward to venturing into Cape Ann.

“We are committed to remaining a mutually owned regional savings bank and Cape Ann and Beverly are a natural extension to our existing banking office,” he said in a prepared statement. “We will continue to offer the best products and customer service in the marketplace while retaining a talented team of employees and recruiting the best banking professionals in the industry.”

The announcement also said that the anticipated new institution would not be closing any branches or offices. The Institution for Savings has 130 full-time employees and $1.1 billion in loans, while Rockport has 46 full-time employees and loans totaling $145 million. Rockport National’s assets were listed at $200 million.

Rockport National Bank, founded in 1851, has branches on Main Street and King Street in Rockport, another on Parker Street in Gloucester and a fourth in Beverly.

Under the agreement, those will be added to Institution for Savings’ seven existing offices in Newburyport, Topsfield, Ipswich, Salisbury and Rowley. Institution for Savings will also continue to have banking outlets in five area high schools — Beverly, Ipswich, Masconomet Regional, Triton Regional and Newburyport High.

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