Richard Collins, the chairman and chief executive of United Financial Bancorp (UBNK), has always kept tabs on converted mutual thrifts as potential acquisition targets. Now he is pairing up with one.

The $2.5 billion-asset company in West Springfield, Mass., announced Friday that it is merging with Rockville Financial (RCKB), a $2.2 billion-asset company that completed its second-step, mutual-to-stock conversion in March 2011.

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