M&T To Buy People’s United Bank

The People's United Bank branch in Sag Harbor. STEPHEN J. KOTZ

Just four years ago, People’s United Bank signs replaced Suffolk County National Bank signs on branches across the East End. Soon, those People’s United signs will be replaced, in turn, by M&T Bank signs after it was announced this week that M&T Bank Corporation of Buffalo had agreed to buy People’s United Financial, Inc., a Bridgeport, Connecticut-based company, for $7.6 billion in an all-stock deal.

The acquisition is another example of the consolidation in the world of regional banking that has seen local banks like BNB Bank and North Fork Bank get gobbled up by larger companies seeking to compete with behemoths like JP Morgan Chase, which has been expanding its footprint since the 2008 financial crisis.

The combined company will have a network of more than 1,100 branches stretching from Maine to Virginia. People’s United currently has 10 branches on the East End, including two in Riverhead, Hampton Bays, and East Hampton and one in Southampton, Sag Harbor, Montauk, and Westhampton Beach.

The companies did not say whether they would consolidate any of those offices or expand its presence on the East End, although they did say they expected to save $300 million in operating costs through the merger.

In a press release announcing the deal, Rene Jones, the chairman and chief executive officer of M&T who will remain in that role after the acquisition is announced, said “In People’s United, we have found a partner with an equally long history of serving and supporting customers, businesses, and communities. Combining our common legacies and our complementary footprints will strengthen our ability to serve our communities and customers, and provide solutions that make a difference in people’s lives.”

The merger is expected to close by the end of the year. Once the merger is complete, investors in People’s United will receive 0.11 share of M&T stock for each share they own, with People’s United owning 28 percent of the new company.