OceanFirst acquiring Capital Bank of N.J. in $80M stock deal

Red Bank-based OceanFirst Financial Corp., parent of OceanFirst Bank, has agreed to acquire Vineland-based Capital Bank of New Jersey in an $80 million all-stock merger, the two banks announced Thursday.

The transaction, in which Capital Bank will merge into OceanFirst, is valued at about $31.33 per Capital Bank common share, based on OceanFirst’s Thursday closing price of $25.06. Capital Bank shareholders would receive 1.25 shares of OceanFirst common stock for each share of Capital Bank they hold.

Capital Bank, founded in 2007, serves South Jersey and the Philadelphia region, with four branches and a loan production office.

“We are excited for Capital Bank shareholders to join the OceanFirst family, and we will use our shared knowledge of southern New Jersey and the greater Philadelphia metro area to continue to enhance our leadership in these core markets,” OceanFirst Chairman and CEO Christopher Maher said in a prepared statement. “This transaction reflects a financially attractive in-market acquisition with low risk that aligns with OceanFirst’s strategic objectives.

“We look forward to continuing to provide our clients best-in-class service and delivering enhanced value to our shareholders.”

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter, pending customary approvals and conditions.

“We are excited to announce our plans to join the OceanFirst team,” Capital Bank CEO and President David J. Hanrahan said in a statement. “Through access to additional product lines, enhanced operating scale and increased shareholder liquidity, we will be better able to serve our customers, shareholders and communities in which we operate.”

Piper Jaffray & Co. was OceanFirst’s financial adviser, while Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP was its legal counsel. Boenning & Scattergood Inc. served as Capital Bank’s financial adviser, while Stevens & Lee served as legal counsel.

In other news, OceanFirst announced Thursday that it had achieved record core earnings for its quarter ended Sept. 30, and had raised its quarterly dividend to 17 cents per share.

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