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CEOs of BSB Bancorp, Mass. BHC met 'from time to time over the years'

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CEOs of BSB Bancorp, Mass. BHC met 'from time to time over the years'

Bridgeport, Conn.-based People's United Financial Inc. on June 19 announced its then-proposed acquisition of First Connecticut Bancorp Inc.

That same day, BSB Bancorp Inc. CEO Robert Mahoney contacted People's United CEO John Barnes to congratulate him on the announcement of the proposed deal. Mahoney also mentioned that Belmont, Mass.-based BSB Bancorp was also reviewing strategic options. Barnes suggested that he and Mahoney get together in the weeks ahead.

Also, in July, Mahoney met with the CEO of a larger bank holding company based in Massachusetts, which had been an active acquirer in the past. Mahoney had met with this CEO "from time to time over the years." During this meeting, Mahoney indicated that BSB Bancorp was considering its strategic options. The CEO of the bank holding company indicated that that he would contact Mahoney to follow up on the meeting.

On Aug. 20, the CEOs of BSB Bancorp and People's United met, and Mahoney indicated that one of the alternatives being explored by BSB Bancorp's board was a strategic acquisition by a larger financial institution such as People's United. Barnes informed Mahoney that People's United would further look into a possible acquisition of BSB Bancorp and would get back to him.

On Sept. 20, the larger Massachusetts-based bank holding company announced that it had entered into a merger agreement for the acquisition of an in-state peer. On that day, Rockland, Mass.-based Independent Bank Corp. announced its proposed acquisition of Norwood, Mass.-based Blue Hills Bancorp Inc. for about $726.5 million in cash and stock.

A day before that, Barnes called Mahoney and indicated that People's United would have an interest in an all-stock acquisition of BSB Bancorp at an exchange ratio of between 1.95 and 2.0 People's United common shares for each BSB Bancorp common share.

BSB Bancorp's board eventually approved moving forward with a possible deal with People's United provided that the exchange ratio is increased to at least 2:1.

On Nov. 1, People's United submitted a nonbinding letter of intent, outlining a proposal to acquire BSB Bancorp in an all-stock transaction at an exchange ratio of 2 People's United common shares for each BSB Bancorp common share. The two companies announced their proposed deal later that month, on Nov. 27.