May 11, 2016

Bank of Princeton Merging Into Investors Bancorp of Short Hills

In a deal announced last week, The Bank of Princeton is being merged into the Short Hills-based Investors Bancorp. The agreement provides a combination of stock and cash with a value of $154 million for Bank of Princeton stockholders.

Investors Bancorp has 140 offices throughout New Jersey and New York. The organization plans to add 13 branches, primarily in the Princeton and Philadelphia area. “We are pleased to partner with The Bank of Princeton, a commercial bank with a track record of strong profitability and growth,” said Kevin Cummings, Investors Bancorp president and chief executive officer, in a press release. “This merger will establish an important presence for Investors Bank in Princeton and will introduce us to the Philadelphia market. It will also add scale to our current Mercer County markets.”

Commenting on Tuesday, Mr. Cummings said Investors Bank is “a larger institution but it is focused on the community.”

“In the eight acquisitions we’ve done, we’ve enhanced the customer service,” he said. “We have a foundation with an endowment of over $60 million, and we’ve allocated $1 million over the next three to four years for the Princeton area. We want that transition to be seamless to the customers working with the Bank of Princeton.”

According to a press release, the 11-year-old Investors Charitable Foundation supports initiatives in the arts, education, youth development, affordable housing, and health and human services.

Local residents Stephen Distler and Ross Wishnick founded The Bank of Princeton in 2007. The company acquired MoreBank, a Korean-based bank in Pennsylvania, three years later. The bank has nine branches in New Jersey, including three in Princeton and others in Hamilton, Pennington, Montgomery, Monroe Township, Lambertville, New Brunswick, and three operating under the MoreBank name in the Philadelphia area. The Bank of Princeton branches will operate under the name Investors Bank.

As of March 31, The Bank of Princeton had assets of $1 billion, loans of $842 million, and deposits of $820 million. Investors Bancorp has approximately $22 billion in assets. Under the agreement, 60 percent of The Bank of Princeton’s common shares will be converted into Investors Bancorp common stock and the remaining 40 percent will be exchanged for cash. The Bank of Princeton’s stockholders can receive either 2.633 shares of Investors Bancorp common stock or $30.75 in cash for each common share of The Bank of Princeton.

Once the transaction is completed, Investors Bancorp will create an advisory board made up of certain members of the Bank of Princeton’s board of directors. Key senior executives will stay with Investors Bancorp through the transition.

The agreement has been approved by the boards of directors of Investors Bancorp, Investors Bank, and The Bank of Princeton, but is subject to The Bank of Princeton’s stockholder approval and regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2016.

”We believe The Bank of Princeton’s customers and stockholders will benefit greatly from this transaction,” said Edward Dietzler, president of The Bank of Princeton. “Investors Bank brings additional retail and business banking products, expanded lending capabilities, and capital strength that will enable the combined company to better compete in our marketplace. Our officers and employees look forward to joining the Investors Bank team.”

Mr. Cummings said, “We hope to be a game changer. We’re the hometown bank of New Jersey.”