Sterling Investor Sues to Halt Provident New York Deal

A Sterling Bancorp shareholder sued to block a proposed $344 million takeover by Provident New York Bancorp, saying the purchase price undervalues the company.

Provident New York Bancorp agreed to acquire New York-based Sterling on April 4 in an all-stock deal, joining a list of U.S. lenders pairing up in the face of stiffer rules and capital requirements.

Provident shareholders will own 53 percent of the combined company, which will be rebranded Sterling National Bank, Montebello, New York-based Provident said in a statement. The deal should be completed in the fourth quarter.

Allen Altman, in a lawsuit filed today in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, accuses Sterling’s board of failing to secure an adequate price for investors and seeks to proceed on behalf of a class of Sterling shareholders.

“The intrinsic value of the company’s common stock is materially in excess of the amount offered in the proposed transaction, and the process by which the proposed transaction was completed is unfair to the class,” he said in the filing.

Tricia Hrotko, a spokeswoman for Sterling, said in an e-mail that the company doesn’t comment on pending litigation as a policy.

The case is Altman v. Sterling Bancorp, 651263/2013, New York State Supreme Court (Manhattan).

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