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People’s Bank closing in on Suffolk County National Bank

President and CEO of Suffolk County National Bank

President and CEO of Suffolk County National Bank Howard Bluver, seen here in January 2012, will become New York market president after the bank's takeover by People's Bank. Credit: Chris Ware

People’s Bank, of Bridgeport, Connecticut, is one step closer to buying Suffolk County National Bank.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has approved the acquisition, according to Suffolk County National Bank, which also released its fourth quarter results on Tuesday.

The all-stock deal, which is valued at about $402 million, still needs the approval from the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors.

“After seeing how closely and cooperatively our respective teams have worked together over the past seven months, I am even more confident today that we will hit the ground running on day one,” said Howard C. Bluver, president and CEO at Suffolk County National Bank since 2012.

Bluver will stay on as New York market resident for People’s Bank.

“We expect this to close shortly, that’s the best we could say,” Bluver said.

The Riverhead-based bank said in November it would lay off 76 back-office and administrative workers once the merger was completed.

“Some of those people have already found jobs elsewhere,” Bluver said. “Several others have found other jobs at People’s.”

Suffolk County National Bank’s 27 branches are expected to take on the People’s United name after the merger closes.

People’s already has more than 40 branches on Long Island, including at least 27 in Stop & Shop locations, according to the bank’s website.

While People’s Bank and Suffolk County National Bank wait for regulatory approval, a larger bank deal fell through when New York Community Bancorp’s $2 billion acquisition of Astoria Financial was terminated.

The two Long Island companies called off their merger in December after waiting more than a year for regulatory approval. Neither company said why the deal was canceled.

Suffolk County National Bank said its net income for the fourth quarter was $3.7 million, a 3 percent increase from the same period a year ago.

Net income for the full year rose 12 percent to $19.8 million.

Shares of Suffolk Bancorp, the parent of Suffolk County National Bank, fell 26 cents on Thursday to close at $41.31. They are up about 74 percent from a year ago, which was before the acquisition was announced.

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