Rockville Financial, United Financial to Merge
WEST SPRINGFIELD — Rockville Financial Inc. and United Financial Bancorp announced recently that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement in a stock-for-stock transaction valued at $369 million, based on the closing price of Rockville Financial Inc. common stock on Nov. 14. The combination will create the largest community bank headquartered in the Hartford-Springfield market, with $4.8 billion in assets, more than 50 branches, and top-five deposit market share in each metropolitan statistical area. In the merger, United Financial Bancorp Inc. shareholders will receive 1.3472 shares of Rockville Financial Inc. common stock for each share of United Financial Bancorp Inc. common stock. Upon closing, Rockville Financial Inc. shareholders will own approximately 49% of stock in the combined company; United Financial Bancorp Inc. shareholders will own approximately 51%. The merger is expected to generate approximately $17.6 million in fully phased-in annual cost savings, or approximately 15% of the expected combined expense total. Additionally, the merger is expected to be approximately 30% accretive to the standalone 2015 earnings of both entities, excluding the impact of the potential revenue-enhancement opportunities. “We are very pleased to announce the combination of these two great community banks,” said William Crawford IV, president and CEO of Rockville Financial. “This merger is a significant step in our strategy to expand our footprint. Our complementary branch networks provide both greater market density and unique franchise scarcity value. The combined company will create a top-performing New England community bank that has the scale, product depth, and efficiency to compete effectively and deliver strong returns to our shareholders and an expanded product suite to our customers.” Added Richard Collins, United Financial Bancorp’s chairman, president, and CEO, “this transaction creates value for our shareholders, customers, and employees. We are uniting two strong community banks and creating a dominant player in the New England banking market with greater competitive strength, growth potential, and profitability. United Bank has a history of growth through mergers of equals dating back to our days as a cooperative bank. It is fitting that today we announce this merger of equals and celebrate the new United Bank.” The new company will be governed by a 20-person board of directors consisting of an equal number of Rockville and United directors. The leadership team of the combined company will be assembled from both organizations with Rockville’s Crawford serving as CEO, United’s J. Jeffrey Sullivan as president, and Rockville’s Eric Newell as chief financial officer. United Financial Bancorp’s Robert Stewart Jr. will serve as chairman of the board of directors, while Raymond Lefurge Jr. from Rockville will be appointed vice chairman. Other key executive positions will be drawn from the executive management teams of both organizations. Collins will retire and provide consulting services for one year. “I am excited to join Bill Crawford and the members of our combined management team to lead the combined company,” said Sullivan. “Individually we are each very good banks; together we have the critical mass to drive efficiency and growth, to take advantage of advancements in technology, and to deliver the best banking experience for our customers.” Upon closing, Rockville Bank will adopt the United name, and the holding company will be United Financial Bancorp Inc. Trading will continue on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol UBNK. The organization will be headquartered in Glastonbury, Conn. It will maintain regional offices in West Springfield and Worcester, as well as Enfield and South Windsor, Conn.
Boston Globe Names PeoplesBank a Top Place to Work
HOLYOKE — For the second year in a row and after an independent survey by WorkplaceDynamics, the Boston Globe has named PeoplesBank as one of Massachusetts’ best employers in its Top Places to Work magazine. “The companies on our Top Places to Work list foster productivity and innovation by investing in the happiness of their employees, which cannot solely be measured in dollars and cents,” said Boston Globe Business Editor Mark Pothier. The Boston Globe invited 1,746 companies to participate, more than 76,000 employee surveys were completed, and 125 were chosen as finalists. Douglas Bowen, president and CEO of PeoplesBank, credited his employees for the bank’s second Top Places to Work award, stating, “this award is really an affirmation from our associates. The Boston Globe named PeoplesBank a Top Place to Work, but their dedication makes it a great place to work.” PeoplesBank attributed its success in being named again this year to a high-performance culture that is focused on community service, environmental sustainability, and employee engagement. According to Janice Mazzallo, executive vice president of Human Resources at PeoplesBank, the bank has created a unique culture and set of values that focus on employee development, life-work balance, and community service. “In order for people to feel engaged, they need to feel as if the company cares about them. Our associates know that that we expect them to be effective and serve customers in a professional manner. They are also clear that we care about them, their families, and the community.” The Boston Globe also noted that, out of the 125 finalists, PeoplesBank was one of 11 that improved their scores the most over last year. The Top Places to Work magazine also highlighted the positive impact of the bank’s weekly farmers’ market. “We’re a local community bank, and for us to be supporting local agriculture, that’s just very important to us,” stated Susan Wilson, first vice president of Corporate Responsibility, in the article.