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Berkshire Hills to Acquire SI Financial Group

BOSTON — Berkshire Hills Bancorp Inc. and SI Financial Group Inc. announced that they have signed a definitive merger agreement under which Berkshire will acquire SIFI and its subsidiary, Savings Institute Bank and Trust Co., in an all-stock transaction valued at $180 million based on Berkshire’s stock price as of the close of business on Dec. 10.

Berkshire’s total assets will increase to $13.6 billion, including the $1.6 billion in acquired SIFI assets. SIFI reported $1.3 billion in loans and $1.3 billion in deposits as of Sept. 30. This merger agreement increases Berkshire’s market presence with 18 branches in Eastern Conn. and five branches in Rhode Island, adding to Berkshire’s nine existing Connecticut branches.

“We’re pleased to welcome Savings Institute’s customers and employees to the Berkshire family,” said Richard Marotta, Berkshire CEO. “This transaction is a natural fit and brings with it a stable, longstanding deposit base with leading market position. The Savings Institute franchise strengthens our Northeast presence, as we gain scale in Connecticut and enter into attractive Rhode Island markets. Savings Institute is a well-established and trusted financial institution with deep client and community relationships. We look forward to expanding those relationships with the depth and breadth of our products and services. This partnership will produce attractive returns for both our existing shareholders and the new shareholders from SIFI joining us in this transaction.”

Added Rheo Brouillard, president and CEO of SIFI, “we’re excited to be joining with a successful regional bank that shares our commitment to community and customer service. Like Savings Institute, Berkshire Bank was established in the mid- to late 1800s and has grown over the years as a result of that commitment. The combination of our two banks will provide greater convenience and a broader array of products to our customers, who will continue to have the personalized service they have come to expect.”

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