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Investors Bancorp to acquire Marathon National

SHORT HILLS, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey-based Investors Bancorp Inc. said it will acquire Marathon Banking Corp., an Astoria, N.Y.-based subsidiary of Greece's Piraeus Bank SA, for $135 million in cash.

The transaction, announced after markets closed Thursday, will more than double Investors Bancorp's network of branches in the New York metropolitan area to 22, or about one-fifth of its total number of its locations

Marathon Banking is the U.S. subsidiary of Piraeus Bank, and the parent of Marathon National Bank, a commercial bank with $902 million in assets and 13 branches in the New York metro area.

Kevin Cummings, president and CEO of Investors Bancorp, said the acquisition will continue his company's transformation into a full-service commercial bank and its expansion into New York markets.

Investors, based in Short Hills, N.J., has $11.3 billion in assets and more than 80 branches.

The banks said the purchase price represents 151 percent of Marathon's tangible book value and a 5.8 percent premium to its deposits, as of March 31.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter, subject to closing conditions including regulatory approval.

Shares of Investors fell 2 cents to $14.82 in Friday afternoon trading.