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 BRISTOL, Conn., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Bristol Savings Bank and Webster Financial Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: WBST), holding company for Waterbury-based First Federal Bank, jointly announced today a definitive agreement and related plan of conversion.
 The agreement provides for Bristol to convert from a Connecticut mutual to a Connecticut capital stock savings bank and concurrently become a wholly owned subsidiary of Webster and a sister bank to First Federal. Bristol will be operated as a separate subsidiary of Webster, which will become a multiple holding company.
 The Boards of Directors for Bristol and Webster have approved the definitive agreement and related plan of conversion.
 In the conversion, eligible depositors of Bristol as of June 30, 1993 will receive subscription rights to purchase shares of Webster common stock in a standard subscription offering. The proceeds of the subscription offering, along with the proceeds of an underwritten public offering of additional Webster shares, will be invested as capital in Bristol. Webster expects that at least $20 million will be raised in the subscription and public offerings and that its total capital investment in Bristol will be approximately $30 million.
 The conversion will be subject to the approval of the Connecticut Banking Commissioner and the Office of Thrift Supervision. No shareholder approval by Webster is expected to be required nor is a vote of Bristol depositors needed under Connecticut law for the conversion. It is expected that the conversion will occur by the first quarter of 1994.
 Edward P. Lorenson, chairman of the board of Bristol, stated, "Our partnership with Webster will provide us with the additional capital and resources to meet the increasing financial needs of our neighbors and businesses in our growing community. We chose Webster because, like Bristol Savings, they have a demonstrated commitment to community banking."
 James C. Smith, president and chief executive of Webster, stated "We are very pleased that Bristol has chosen us to be their partner. We share Bristol's commitment to community banking. This partnership furthers Webster's objective of careful, profitable growth and is expected to be highly beneficial to both organizations. Webster views the combination as a significant opportunity to expand into an attractive, contiguous market. The combination will increase Webster's total asset size by nearly 25 percent and will expand its banking offices from 32 to 38 in Connecticut."
 Webster Financial Corporation is the holding company for First Federal Bank, a federal savings bank headquartered in Waterbury. At June 30, 1993, Webster had total assets of $2.1 billion. First Federal Bank, founded in 1935, serves communities in New Haven, Fairfield, Hartford and Litchfield counties from 32 banking offices in Connecticut.
 Bristol Savings Bank, founded in 1870, is headquartered in Bristol Connecticut and has six banking offices in Hartford County. Bristol operates a mortgage banking subsidiary that services $1.2 billion in mortgage loans and originates mortgage loans throughout the New England states. At June 30, 1993, Bristol had total assets of $504 million.
 -0- 10/21/93
 /CONTACT: Edward P. Lorenson of Bristol Savings Bank, 203-582-8181; or James C. Smith of Webster Financial Corp., 203-578-2214/

CO: Webster Financial Corporation; Bristol Savings Bank ST: Connecticut IN: FIN SU: TNM

JL-DD -- NE004 -- 5029 10/21/93 09:34 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 21, 1993

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