OceanFirst to acquire Two River Bank, Country Bank for total of $285M

OceanFirst Financial Corp., the parent company of Toms River-based OceanFirst Bank, announced Friday it has signed two separate merger deals.

Under the agreements, OceanFirst will acquire Two River Bancorp and its subsidiary, Tinton Falls-based Two River Community Bank, for $182.8 million as well as Country Bank Holding Company Inc., the parent company of New York, New York-based Country Bank, for $102.2 million.

“We are excited for both Two River and CYHC shareholders to join the OceanFirst family, as both institutions share a similar operating philosophy and this provides us an opportunity to further enhance our presence in New Jersey and build upon our lending initiatives in metropolitan New York,” Christopher D. Maher, OceanFirst chairman and CEO, said. “We believe the addition of these two high-performing franchises will further leverage the significant investments we have made in people, processes and technology and positively impact our earnings potential. We look forward to continuing to provide our customers with extraordinary service and deliver enhanced value to our stockholders.”

The combined companies are expected to have approximately $9.9 billion in assets, $7.5 billion in loans and $7.7 billion in deposits, OceanFirst said.

Founded in 2000, Two River is a community bank with 14 branch locations and two loan production offices in Monmouth, Ocean, Union and Essex counties.Once the deal has closed, Two River shareholders will receive 0.6663 shares of OceanFirst common stock and $5.375 in cash for each outstanding share of Two River common stock.

“I am excited by the prospects of uniting our company with OceanFirst, whose community banking approach and customer focus is highly consistent with the model that has made Two River successful. This combination will provide our customers with enhanced product and service offerings,” William D. Moss, chairman, CEO and president of Two River, said. “In addition to benefits for our customers, our employees and community will benefit from our combined history of making a difference in the communities we serve, which is consistent with one of the founding principles of Two River Community Bank.”

The acquisition of CYHC will help expand OceanFirst’s retail branch footprint into metropolitan New York, OceanFirst said.

CYHC was founded in 1988 and provides banking services to throughout five Country Bank locations in New York.  Once the deal has closed, CYHC shareholders will receive 2,000 shares of OceanFirst common stock for each outstanding share of CYHC common stock they own.

“We are very pleased about partnering with a high-performing company that shares our community banking culture and values. We find the strategic fit of the two organizations compelling, especially for our customers that will benefit from the broader array of products and services, and for our stockholders,” Joseph M. Murphy, CYHC chairman and CEO, said.. “We will leverage the new resources and products available to us through OceanFirst Bank and are attracted to the opportunity to operate in our current markets with a significantly larger scale.”

Piper Jaffray & Co. served as the financial advisor and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP served as legal counsel to OceanFirst. Boenning & Scattergood Inc. served as the financial advisor and Stevens & Lee served as  legal counsel to Two River.  Sandler O’Neill & Partners L.P. served as the financial advisor and Luse Gorman P.C. served as legal counsel to CYHC.