Lakeland to buy 1st Constitution

Lakeland Bancorp, Inc., in Oak Ridge, N.J., is acquiring 1st Constitution Bancorp in Cranbury, N.J., in a deal worth $244.4 million.

The combined organization will have approximately $9.6 billion in assets, loans of $7.4 billion and deposits of $8.2 billion. It will rank as the 5th largest bank headquartered in the state. 

1st Constitution currently has $1.8 billion in assets, $1.3 billion in loans and $1.6 billion in deposits. Its branch footprint includes Mercer, Middlesex and Monmouth counties — new markets for Lakeland — as well as Ocean and Bergen counties.

“We are delighted to be combining with 1st Constitution and expanding Lakeland’s presence into central New Jersey,” said Thomas Shara, president and CEO of the $7.8 billion Lakeland. “This merger is consistent with our recent initiatives to expand into desirable markets.”

Robert F. Mangano, president and CEO of 1st Constitution, is expected to join the board of Lakeland and its subsidiary Lakeland Bank after the deal closes in the fourth quarter or early next year. 

“We are excited to be partnering with such a respected and well-managed institution,” Mangano said. “This merger will bring together two outstanding organizations with similar cultures as well as strong relationships in New Jersey.”

The deal will be approximately 10 percent accretive to Lakeland’s earnings per share, and approximately 3.9 percent dilutive to tangible book value per share at closing. Tangible book value earnback period is projected to be approximately 3.3 years. Lakeland will have a cost savings assumption of 44 percent or approximately $18 million in 2022.

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, A Stifel Company, served as financial advisor and Luse Gorman, PC served as legal counsel to Lakeland.

Raymond James served as financial advisor and Day Pitney LLP served as legal counsel to 1st Constitution.

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