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Kroll affirms ratings for United Financial Bancorp, unit

Kroll Bond Rating Agency affirmed the BBB senior unsecured debt rating, BBB- subordinated debt rating and K3 short-term debt rating for Hartford, Conn.-based United Financial Bancorp Inc.

The rating agency also affirmed the deposit and senior unsecured debt ratings of BBB+, subordinated debt rating of BBB and short-term deposit and debt ratings of K2 for unit United Bank.

The outlook for all long-term ratings is stable.

Kroll believes United Financial Bancorp's merger agreement with Bridgeport, Conn.-based People's United Financial Inc. is potentially a "credit positive event" for United Financial Bancorp's subordinated noteholders since the company will be merged into "a far larger, diversified regional bank franchise."

The rating agency expects to withdraw its ratings on United Financial Bancorp and United Bank once the deal with People's United Financial has been completed. The deal is expected to close Nov. 1.