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OceanFirst-Sun deal faces 3 lawsuits

OceanFirst Financial Corp.'s pending acquisition of Sun Bancorp Inc. has triggered at least three lawsuits claiming the latter's board is in breach of its fiduciary duty.

On July 18, three purported Sun shareholders filed potential class-action lawsuits in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Burlington County, Chancery Division. The cases are Oswald v. Sun Bancorp; Rumsey v. Sun Bancorp, et al.; and Chetcuti v. Sun Bancorp, et al.

The plaintiffs also claim that Toms River, N.J.-based OceanFirst aided and abetted Mount Laurel, N.J.-based Sun's board in this breach of duty. Aside from trying to prevent the merger, the actions seek unspecified money damages and legal fees.

The legal update was disclosed in OceanFirst's quarterly regulatory filing. The company also noted it is buying real estate in Monmouth County, N.J., for $42.5 million, in line with a back-office consolidation initiative. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter; occupancy is expected in the first half of 2018.