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Mass.-based Provident Bancorp announces start of conversion-related offering

Amesbury, Mass.-based Provident Bancorp Inc (MHC), the stock holding company of Provident Bank (MHC), disclosed Aug. 16 the commencement of the stock offering related to the proposed conversion of Provident Bancorp MHC from the mutual holding company structure to the stock holding company form of organization.

Under the conversion plan, Provident Bancorp MHC will undertake a second-step conversion and cease to exist. Provident Bancorp will reorganize from a two-tier mutual holding company structure to a fully public stock holding company structure.

Provident Bancorp Inc., a newly formed Maryland corporation that is the proposed successor holding company of the bank, is offering for sale up to 13,225,000 common shares at $10.00 each.

The shares will be offered in a subscription offering to certain depositors and tax-qualified employee benefit plans of Provident Bank, including the employee stock ownership plan and the bank's 401(k) plan. Employees, officers, trustees, directors and corporators of Provident Bancorp MHC, Provident Bancorp, New Provident Bancorp and Provident Bank also have rights to buy shares in the subscription offering, subject to the priority rights of depositors and the bank's tax-qualified employee benefit plans.

Common shares that are not subscribed for in the subscription offering may be offered for sale to the general public in a community offering, with preference given to residents of specified cities and towns of Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

The subscription and community offerings are being managed by Sandler O'Neill & Partners LP.

New Provident Bancorp must sell at least 9,775,000 of its common shares in the offering.