Country Bank Holding Co. Inc. (CYHC), parent company of Country Bank, signed a definitive merger agreement Aug. 8 with OceanFirst Financial Corp. Under the agreement, OceanFirst will acquire CYHC and upon completion of the merger, Country Bank will merge into OceanFirst Bank.

“We are very pleased about partnering with a high-performing company that shares our community banking culture and values. We find the strategic fit of the two organizations compelling, especially for our customers that will benefit from the broader array of products and services, and for our stockholders” said Joseph M. Murphy, CYHC chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We will leverage the new resources and products available to us through OceanFirst Bank and are attracted to the opportunity to operate in our current markets with a significantly larger scale.”

OceanFirst was founded in 1902 and is an $8 billion regional bank operating throughout New Jersey, metropolitan Philadelphia and metropolitan New York City. OceanFirst Bank delivers commercial and residential financing solutions, trust and asset management and deposit services and is one of the largest and oldest community-based financial institutions headquartered in New Jersey.

“We are excited for CYHC shareholders to join the OceanFirst family, as Country Bank shares a similar operating philosophy and builds upon our lending initiatives in metropolitan New York,” said Christopher D. Maher, OceanFirst chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We believe the addition of this high-performing franchise will further leverage the significant investments we have made in people, processes and technology and positively impact our earnings potential. We look forward to continuing to provide our customers with extraordinary service and deliver enhanced value to our stockholders.”

The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by the CYHC and OceanFirst boards of directors. The completion of the merger is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020, subject to CYHC receiving the requisite approval of its shareholders, receipt of all required regulatory approvals and fulfillment of other customary closing conditions.

Country Bank, located at 80 Garth Road, is a New York State chartered commercial bank, founded in 1988 specializing in small business and commercial real estate lending and controlled by the Murphy family. The bank is devoted to building relationships with its customers and its local community.

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