Sterling Bancorp to buy NY-based Astoria Financial for $2.2bn

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New York-based bank Astoria Financial has on Tuesday agreed to be acquired by Sterling Bancorp for $2.2bn, less than three months after regulators scuppered a planned tie-up with another rival.

The all stock deal would create the sixth largest regional bank in the New York City metropolitan area, with $19bn in deposits. It is also subject to regulatory approval.

The transaction values Astoria at about $21.92 per share, a near 19 per cent premium to its undisturbed share price. Shares in Astoria rallied 12.6 per cent to $20.81 in morning trading in New York, while those for Sterling fell 2.8 per cent.

The deal comes almost 18 months since Astoria, which was being targeted by the activist investor Basswood, reached a cash-and-stock deal with New York Community Bank. That transaction collapsed in December after regulators failed to give it the green light.

Astoria and Sterling billed the deal as a merger. Directors said they expected it to close in the final three months of this year. The combined company will operate under the Sterling name, although four of Astoria’s directors will join the board.

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