News Alert: Columbia Financial (NASDAQ:CLBK) and Stewardship Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: SSFN) signs a definitive merger deal

Columbia Financial (NASDAQ:CLBK), the holding company for Columbia Bank, and Stewardship Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: SSFN) (“Stewardship”), the holding company for Atlantic Stewardship Bank, reported that they signed a definitive merger agreement.

Mr. Thomas J. Kemly, Columbia’s President and Chief Executive Officer, commented:  “We are pleased to announce the strategic combination of the two banks, both of which are strong community banks dedicated to serving their local communities.  Our companies share common values with a strong culture focused on relationships and serving our communities, making this combination a perfect partnership.  We greatly admire the philanthropic support Stewardship provides through its tithing program and the Columbia Bank Foundation, one of the largest private charitable foundations in New Jersey, is proud to continue various aspects of Stewardship’s charitable mission.  We believe the merger represents a significant step towards profitably deploying capital we raised in our public offering and is a great fit with our growth plan.”

Pursuant to the terms of the merger agreement, Stewardship shareholders will receive $15.75 in cash for each share of Stewardship common stock held.  The aggregate consideration in the transaction is approximately $137 million and the per share merger consideration represents 166.8% of Stewardship’s tangible book value as of March 31, 2019 and equates to approximately 17.4x Stewardship’s trailing twelve-month net income through March 31, 2019.

Stewardship’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Atlantic Stewardship Bank, has 12 banking offices in northern New Jersey.  Established in 1985, Atlantic Stewardship Bank is a full-service commercial bank serving individuals, businesses and their communities.  As of March 31, 2019, Stewardship Financial Corporation had total assets of $961 million, loans of $747 million and deposits of $784 million.

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