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Dime and BNB banks expected to merge and take Dime name

BNB Bank has 38 branches on Long Island,

BNB Bank has 38 branches on Long Island, Queens and Manhattan, and Dime Community Bank has 28 branches in New York City and Long Island.  Credit: Heather Walsh

Bridge Bancorp, the parent company of BNB Bank, has agreed to merge with Dime Community Bancshares Inc., in an all-stock deal worth about $489 million.

The headquarters of the combined company, which will operate under the Dime name, will be in Hauppauge. The new entity will have 66 branches from Montauk to Manhattan.

“This highly compelling combination will allow us to build on our complementary strengths and provide significant value for shareholders,” Kevin O’Connor, president and chief executive of Bridge Bancorp, said in a statement.

O'Connor will serve as the merged company's CEO, while Stuart Lubow, the president of Dime, will become president and chief operating officer of the company.

Kenneth Mahon, the current CEO of Dime, will become executive chairman of the post-merger company.

“Prior to the onset of our commercial bank transformation four years ago, Dime was a monoline, multifamily thrift lender," Mahon said. "This merger is the next logical step in Dime’s journey and significantly accelerates our business model transformation."

The deal, which is subject to approval by Dime and Bridge sharholders, calls for Dime shareholders to own about 52% of the new company with the remainder going to Bridge shareholders.

The merged company will trade under the Dime ticker symbol, DCOM, on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Bridge, whose headquarters is in Bridgehampton, has 38 branches on Long Island, Queens and Manhattan with its heaviest concentration in Suffolk County. Bridge was founded in 1910.

The deal, announced Wednesday, is expected to close in the fall of 2021.

Dime Community Bancshares, based in Brooklyn, is the holding company for a Dime Community Bank, which has 28 branches in New York City and Long Island. Dime was founded in 1864.

Though the combined company will operate under the Dime brand, some branches in eastern Long Island will continue to operate under the BNB Bank name "for at least one year," the companies said in a joint news release.

The statement outlining the merger said that management foresees "conservative and achievable" costs savings of about 15%.

The companies' statement described their branch networks as "highly complementary," but it was unclear if those savings would include layoffs or branch closings.

As of Dec. 31, Dime had 421 full-time and 36 part-time employees, while Bridge reported having 496 full-time equivalent employees.

Shares of Bridge Bancorp sank almost 7% to $20.30 on Thursday after the deal was announced, while Dime shares gained 1.4% to $13.03. Stock markets were closed Friday in observance of the July Fourth holiday.

In its financial report for the quarter ended March 31, Dime said it was deferring interest and principal payments for some loans to commercial, industrial and residential clients due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The combined company will have more than $8 billion in deposits.

Piper Sandler Companies served as financial adviser to Bridge, while Raymond James advised Dime.

Calls seeking further comment from Dime and Bridge were not immediately returned.

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