Sterling Bank to Buy Farnsworth Bancorp for $19.1 Mln

Sterling Bank, which operates seven bank branches in New Jersey, agreed to buy Farnsworth Bancorp Inc. for about $19.1 million to expand its business in the southern part of the state.

Sterling Bank will pay $27.50 a share in cash or stock for Farnsworth, which owns four New Jersey bank branches, Mount Laurel, New Jersey-based Sterling said in a statement. The price is 11 percent more than Farnsworth Bancorp's share price of $24.70 on June 19, the most recent day the stock was traded.

Farnsworth Bancorp, which operates Peoples Savings Bank, had $106 million in assets as of March 31, Sterling Bank said in the statement.

``This permits us a little bit of a broader base to continue to expand,'' said Sterling Bank Chief Executive Officer Robert King in an interview. ``It fits in very nicely.''

Sterling Bank shares rose 13 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $12.01 in Nasdaq Stock Market composite trading, and have advanced 11 percent in the past year. Bordentown, New Jersey-based Farnsworth Bancorp fell 25 cents to $24.70 on June 19, the most recent day they traded, and have climbed 27 percent in the past year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Danny King in Los Angeles at dking19@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Reichl at dreichl@bloomberg.net.

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