Dime, Bridge Bancorp combining in $489 million merger

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Bridge Bancorp in Bridgehampton, N.Y., is merging with Dime Community Bancshares in Brooklyn, N.Y., in an all-stock deal valued at $489 million.

Though Bridge is the legal acquirer, Dime’s shareholders will own 52% of the company, which will operate as Dime. The headquarters will be moved in Hauppauge, N.Y., with a corporate office in New York.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.

The combined company will have 66 branches, $11 billion in assets and $8 billion in deposits. The board will be evenly split, with six directors from each company.

Kenneth Mahon will become executive chairman of Dime Community after its merger with Bridge Bancorp.
Kenneth Mahon will become executive chairman of Dime Community after its merger with Bridge Bancorp.

Kevin O’Connor, Bridge’s president and CEO, will serve as the company’s CEO. Stu Lubow, who became Dime’s president in May, will become president and chief operating officer.

Kenneth Mahon, Dime’s CEO, will become executive chairman.

The transaction “will allow us to build on our complementary strengths and provide significant value for shareholders,” O’Connor said in the release.

“Our enhanced branch footprint and increased capital base will allow us to better serve the needs of our customers,” he added. “Both companies have strong balance sheets and demonstrated histories of low loan losses … which give me confidence that we will be well-positioned to succeed in any environment.”

“This merger is the next logical step in Dime’s journey and significantly accelerates our business model transformation,” Mahon added. “We believe the capital strength of the combined company, Bridge’s high-quality deposit base, and Dime’s historically strong New York City multifamily loan portfolio, will result in the creation of a solid balance sheet.”

Bridge primarily focuses on commercial lending, commercial real estate and small-business banking, while Dime has significant dealings in New York multifamily lending.

The companies said the deal will be 7% accretive to Bridge’s earnings per share and 40% accretive for Dime. It should be 0.4% accretive to Bridge’s tangible book value.

The plan is to cut about 15% of the combined company’s annual noninterest expenses, or roughly $32 million. The companies expect to incur $60 million in merger-related expenses.

Dime will lost about $2 million in a year in interchange fee income by surpassing $10 billion in assets. The company also anticipates having $2 million in additional compliance costs each year.

Piper Sandler and Luse Gorman advised Bridge. Raymond James and Holland & Knight advised Dime.

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