Magazine article American Banker

Fleet Crosses Border to Acquire 1st Connecticut; 1st New England Interstate Deal since June 10 High Court Ruling

Magazine article American Banker

Fleet Crosses Border to Acquire 1st Connecticut; 1st New England Interstate Deal since June 10 High Court Ruling

Article excerpt

NEW YORK -- The Fleet Financial Group Inc., Providence, R.I., said Thursday that it will acquire First Connecticut Bancorp Inc., Hartford, Conn., for $193 million in common stock.

The announcement mark the first New England interstate deal since the June 10 U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of state laws restricting interstate banking within a specified group of states.

Meanwhile, a New England interstate acquisition, announced prior to the Supreme Court decision, was completed on Thursday. Hartford National Corp., Connecticut's second largest bank holding company, said that Arltru Bancorp in Lawrence, Mass., is now a Hartford subsidiary.

For Fleet, Rhode Island's largest bank holding company, with $6 billion in assets, the transaction will be its first acquisition of a commercial bank outside of its home state. The company has established new banks in Hartford and Boston.

John W. Flynn, vice president of Fleet, noted that First Connecticut's four subsidiary banks will give Fleet a good share of the central and eastern Connecticut markets. However, the acquisition will still leave Fleet without a bank in Fairfield County, one of the state's hottest markets.

Asked whether the company plans further acquisitions in Connecticut and other states in the region, Mr. Flynn said: "We have stated that we are desirous of making acquisitions in at least Connecticut and Massachusetts and possibly one other New England state."

With $1.3 billion in assets, First Connecticut is the state's sixth largest bank holding company. …

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