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Howard Bancorp wins 1st Mariner Bank bid after competitor backed out

Ellicott City, Md.-based Howard Bancorp Inc. won the bid for Baltimore-based 1st Mariner Bank after another company looking to pursue the bank backed out.

Howard Bancorp Chairman, President and CEO Mary Ann Scully first met with a 1st Mariner representative in late February to discuss the possibility of a merger. In April, however, another bank holding company also took interest in 1st Mariner. By May, Howard and the other company have entered into nondisclosure agreements with 1st Mariner.

In June, 1st Mariner's board concluded that a potential merger with Howard Bancorp or the other company would be in the best interest of the bank. 1st Mariner separately met with representatives of the two companies for deal talks.

However, on July 17, the other company informed 1st Mariner that it is no longer interested in pursuing a potential deal. Howard Bancorp continued its talks with 1st Mariner, negotiating deal terms, including a $7.5 million termination fee payable by either party under certain circumstances.

The two companies executed their merger agreement on Aug. 14 and publicly announced it the day after.