A Big Bang From Bank Of Boston

BANK OF BOSTON CHAIRMAN Charles Gifford accomplished in four months on the job what his predecessor, Ira Stepanian, couldn't do in eight years: make a big acquisition. On Dec. 12, Bank of Boston agreed to pay $2.2 billion to buy BayBanks, New England's premier retail bank, with $11.5 billion in assets. The deal lays to rest long-standing concerns that Bank of Boston would be left as a second-tier player once the latest wave of bank consolidation ends. But the combined banks themselves could be an alluring takeover target.

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