Eastern Bank to acquire Century Bank for $642 million, its biggest deal yet

It’s this kind of blockbuster acquisition that Eastern chief executive Bob Rivers wanted to make when the company was a mutual bank but found it tough to pull off without the extra capital available as a publicly traded bank.

(People’s United sits squarely between those two, in terms of size, but it has recently agreed to be sold to M&T Bank.)

After the deal closes near the end of the year, assuming shareholder and regulatory approvals, Eastern would convert Century customers to its platform, with Century branches assuming the Eastern Bank name.

Boston-based Eastern will fund the purchase price with cash on hand, from a stockpile bolstered by a $1.7 billion injection from its 2020 initial public offering.

With about $16 billion in assets, Eastern is the biggest locally based retail bank in Massachusetts.

Century, meanwhile, has $6.4 billion in assets, and is the third largest locally based bank in Greater Boston.

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