East Boston Savings Bank acquires Meetinghouse Bank for $17.8M

The holding company for East Boston Savings Bank completed its acquisition of Meetinghouse Bank on Dec. 29. The merger, announced last June, was expected to yield more than $17.8 million for the shareholders of Meetinghouse at $26 per share.

The deal further elevates East Boston Savings Bank (EBSB) as the major banking force in Dorchester and will immediately upgrade its presence and deposits by bringing the prime Dorchester Lower Mills location into its portfolio. Meetinghouse Bank’s other branch in Roslindale will also become an EBSB branch through the merger.

Founded in 1914, Meetinghouse Bank has approximately $118 million in assets, $80 million in loans, and $99 million in deposits as of March 31, according to the statement.

“We are excited to announce the completion of the Meetinghouse acquisition today. We believe that the acquisition will enable us to continue to grow our banking franchise in the Boston metropolitan area and expand our presence in the Dorchester and Roslindale markets,” said Richard J. Gavegnano, President and Chief Executive Officer of Meridian, the holding company for EBSB.

In a statement, Anthony A. Paciulli, President and Chief Executive Officer of Meetinghouse, said: “We are proud to be joining Meridian and East Boston Savings Bank, which has served the Boston market for generations with a similar culture and common commitment to local decision making, exceptional personal service and community support.”

East Boston Savings Bank, founded in 1848, now operates 33 full-service locations in greater Boston. The deal was approved unanimously by the boards of both institutions last summer.

“It’s a very vibrant, growing market,” said Richard J. Gavegnano, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Meridian, told the Reporter last June. “Meetinghouse is strategically within that Dorchester location and Ros just added to our presence in the city. We want to be a Boston bank.”

The acquisition makes East Boston Savings Bank the dominant community banking and lending force in Dorchester.

“The bank was run beautifully under Tony [Paciulli’s] leadership,” Gavegnano told the Reporter last year. “If they had to find another partner that culturally was very compatible, East Boston Savings Bank is a very strong, rooted community bank, serving family neighborhoods and the way we service our customers –that’s what has made this so smooth. We had the same respect for neighborhoods and involvement with charitable donations.”