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NBT completes Hampshire First merger

By Journal Staff


NORWICH — NBT Bank, N.A. wrapped up its merger with New Hampshire–based Hampshire First Bank June 8, making Hampshire First a division of NBT Bank and expanding NBT’s geographic footprint deeper into New England.

The five banking centers operated by Hampshire First Bank in Manchester, Londonderry, Nashua, Keene, and Portsmouth, N.H. will continue to do business under the Hampshire First name. NBT did not immediately respond to media inquiries regarding how many employees Hampshire First has and how many of them would be staying on with NBT.

NBT announced last November it would acquire Hampshire First, with $273 million in total assets, in a $45 million deal that converted 65 percent of Hampshire First shares into the right to receive 0.7019 shares of NBT common stock for each Hampshire share. The remaining 35 percent of Hampshire First stock exchanged for $15 in cash.

“Through our partnership with NBT our team of local banking professionals will continue to apply our local knowledge and decision-making skills to serve the needs of our customers and communities in southern New Hampshire,” Regional President James Dunphy said in a news release. Dunphy is Hampshire First’s founding president and CEO. “We have also gained access to the resources of a larger organization, giving us the ability to provide expanded services to our customers,” he said.

Hampshire First ranks seventh in market share in the Manchester–Nashua metropolitan statistical area (MSA) with 

$174 million in deposits, or 1.64 percent of the market’s total deposits, according to June 30, 2011, FDIC data. RBS Citizens leads the market with $4.1 billion in deposits, or 38.5 percent of total market deposits. Bank of America is in second place with $3.1 billion, good for 29.2 percent of the market.

The Manchester–Nashua MSA is the 130th largest in the U.S. with a population of nearly 402,000 people, according to 2011 U.S. Census estimates. In comparison, the Binghamton MSA is the 186th biggest with 250,000 residents. 

When NBT announced the acquisition last fall, Alexander Twerdahl, an associate director in the research department of Sandler O’Neill & Partners, L.P. in New York City, told The Greater Binghamton Business Journal that the deal was a solid one for NBT. He said it builds upon the bank’s strategy to operate in smaller, non-metropolitan markets where it can show strong growth.

Earlier this year, NBT completed its acquisition of three Legacy Banks branches in Greene County in New York and the customer balances at another Legacy branch in Schoharie County. NBT also opened a fifth branch in Lenox, Mass. in Februrary.

NBT Bank now offers banking, asset-management, and business services at 137 banking locations in five states. NBT Bank has 97 locations in upstate New York, northwestern Vermont, and western Massachusetts. NBT’s Pennstar Bank division operates 35 locations in northeastern Pennsylvania. The newly acquired Hampshire First Bank division has five locations in southern New Hampshire.

Parent company NBT Bancorp, Inc. (, headquartered in Norwich, has assets of $5.8 billion.

Hampshire First Bank ( was organized in 2006 as a state-chartered bank and opened its first location in Nashua that November. 


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