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Independent Bank Gets Regulatory Nod for Blue Hills Deal

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Independent Bank Corp. (INDB - Free Report) has received all necessary regulatory approvals to acquire Blue Hills Bancorp, Inc. for $726.5 million. The deal, announced in September 2018, is expected to close on Apr 1, 2019, and is subject to customary closing conditions.

Per the agreement (announced at the time of deal), Independent Bank will pay 0.2308 of each share of its common stock and $5.25 in cash for each share of Blue Hills. This will result in issuance of 6.2 million new shares for Independent Bank.

Independent Bank projected the acquisition to be around 4% accretive to its 2019 and nearly 4.5% to it 2020 earnings. The investment’s prospective internal rate of return had been calculated at roughly 16%. Management does not expect this transaction to affect tangible book value per share.

The agreement to acquire Blue Hills is in line with Independent Bank’s strategy of growing inorganically in overlapping and adjacent markets. In fact, the deal is likely to further solidify the company’s position in Eastern Massachusetts.

Earlier in November 2018, Independent Bank closed the cash and stock deal to acquire MNB Bancorp for $55.5 million. Buyouts seem to be a major strategy that has supported Independent Bank. Over the past six years, the company has completed as many acquisitions.

The stock has rallied 13% over the past three months.

Currently, Independent Bank carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Over the past year, banking sector has been witnessing a rise in M&A activities. Improving economy, easing banking regulations and lower tax rates have resulted in considerable liquidity in the hands of banks.

Further, as banks continue to expand into different growth avenues, M&As are expected to remain part of their growth initiatives. Some of the banks that have entered into M&A agreements recently are Wintrust Financial Corporation (WTFC - Free Report) and BancorpSouth Bank (BXS - Free Report) .

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