ConnectOne to acquire Bank of New Jersey in $113M deal

Englewood Cliffs-based ConnectOne Bancorp Inc. will acquire Fort Lee-based Bancorp of New Jersey Inc., the parent company of Bank of New Jersey, in a deal worth $113 million, the two banking institutions jointly announced Friday.

ConnectOne, which is the parent company of ConnectOne Bank, said the deal will help it increasing client relationships, enhance growth opportunities in New Jersey and New York, and maintain best-in-class efficiency.

Under terms of the deal, Bancorp of New Jersey shareholders will receive either 0.78 shares of ConnectOne common stock or $16.25 in cash for each Bancorp of New Jersey common stock they own.

“This is a financially savvy, in-market acquisition with strong economics to enhance our powerful franchise. The accretive transaction demonstrates our commitment to deliver attractive long-term returns for our shareholders and strongly supports our defined growth strategy which includes opportunistic growth through M&A,” ConnectOne Chairman and CEO Frank Sorrentino said. “Bancorp of New Jersey is a natural fit for ConnectOne given its commercial business focus, overlapping geographic footprint, shared client base and the considerable synergies that are expected. We look forward to continuing to deliver extraordinary client service to all Bancorp of New Jersey and ConnectOne clients, and enhancing value to our shareholders.”

Once the deal has closed, Bancorp of New Jersey will add about $800 million of deposits and loans to the ConnectOne, resulting in a combined company with total assets of $7 billion, deposits of $5.4 billion and loans of $5.9 billion.

Also, one current Bancorp of New Jersey board director will join the ConnectOne Bancorp and ConnectOne Bank board of directors.

“This is an exciting opportunity to join a like-minded, high-performing commercial bank with considerable franchise value and growth potential,” Nancy E. Graves, CEO and president, Bancorp of New Jersey, said. “ConnectOne shares our relationship-centric business culture, and together we will provide our clients with growth opportunities by increasing the breadth of products and services, higher lending limits and leading edge technology. We are proud of what we have accomplished for our shareholders, customers and communities and can best leverage what we have built through partnering with ConnectOne. We are pleased to continue to work on behalf of our valued customers and communities with Frank and his team.”

The merger is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020.

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. served as the financial advisor and Squire Patton Boggs LLP served as legal counsel to ConnectOne. Sandler O’Neill & Partners L.P. served as the financial advisor and Holland & Knight LLP served as legal counsel to Bancorp of New Jersey.