First Bank completes acquisition of 2 OceanFirst branches, strengthening its Central Jersey presence

First Bank said late Monday that it completed the previously announced acquisition of two New Jersey branch locations from OceanFirst Bank. As part of the acquisition, which was completed at the close of business last Friday, First Bank also acquired approximately $101 million of associated deposits and $11 million of select performing loans.

Hamilton-based First Bank acquired the branches in Flemington and Monroe Township from Toms River-based OceanFirst Financial Corp., parent of OceanFirst Bank N.A., further strengthening its presence along the New York City to Philadelphia corridor.

“We are very pleased to welcome our newest customers and employees to First Bank as we continue to grow our presence in central New Jersey,” said Patrick Ryan, First Bank CEO and president. “With added scale and additional relationship-based low-cost core funding, we see excellent opportunities for long-term value creation through this latest transaction. I want to thank our entire First Bank team, including our newest colleagues in Flemington and Monroe, for providing a seamless transition for all of our newly acquired customers.”

The $23 million reduction in deposit balances between the original announcement date and closing date can be categorized as follows: approximately $15 million in deposit balances from accounts intentionally removed from the acquisition list, $6 million in account balances that fluctuated lower over the period and $2 million from accounts that were closed. Accounts were intentionally removed to minimize post-closing run-off.

Conversion of the branches began Friday, and continued through the weekend, with both locations reopening on Monday as First Bank branches.

Boenning & Scattergood Inc. served as First Bank’s financial adviser. Troutman Pepper provided legal counsel to First Bank, while Luse Gorman P.C. provided legal counsel to OceanFirst.