Eastern Bank has lined up a $642 million deal to acquire Century Bank and Trust, in what would be Eastern’s largest deal in its history and its first bank purchase since becoming a public company in October. The company announced the news in a press release Wednesday night.
It’s this kind of blockbuster acquisition that Eastern chief executive Bob Rivers wanted to make when the company was a mutual bank but found it tough to pull off without the extra capital available as a publicly-traded bank.
The deal would combine two of the largest Boston-area community banks and cement Eastern’s position as the third-largest traditional retail bank based in New England after Citizens Bank and Webster Bank. (People’s United sits squarely between those two, in terms of size, but it has recently agreed to be sold to M&T Bank.)