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FIRST FIDELITY TO ACQUIRE FIRST PEOPLES NATIONAL BANK OF EDWARDSVILLE, PA., FOR $19.6 MILLION IN CASH

 LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J., and EDWARDSVILLE, Pa., Aug. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- First Fidelity Bancorporation (NYSE: FFB), of Lawrenceville, BankVest, Inc., and First Peoples National Bank of Edwardsville today announced a definitive agreement under which First Fidelity will acquire closely held BankVest and First Peoples National Bank of Edwardsville for a total of $19.6 million in cash.
 Under the terms of the agreement, holders of each share of BankVest stock will receive approximately $214 per share, an aggregate consideration of approximately $13.8 million for BankVest, which owns 70 percent of First Peoples National Bank. Holders of the remaining 30 percent of First Peoples will receive $465 for each common share, or an aggregate consideration of approximately $5.8 million.
 First Peoples National Bank, with $102 million in assets and $84 million in deposits, operates two branches in the Luzerne County community of Edwardsville near Wilkes-Barre in northeastern Pennsylvania. Upon completion of the merger, the bank will be merged into First Fidelity Bank, N.A., Pennsylvania, which operates a network of 187 offices in eastern Pennsylvania, stretching from Philadelphia and its suburbs to the Wilkes-Barre-Scranton area.
 "We welcome the First Peoples customers to First Fidelity," said R. Denny Schmidt, president of the northeastern region of First Fidelity Bank, N.A., Pennsylvania. "We pledge to provide them the same high level of service they have been receiving at First Peoples while offering them a broader array of products and the convenience of our branch system."
 Y. Judd Shoval, chairman and chief executive officer of First Peoples, said: "This merger will give our customers the important benefit of access to the expanded services and greater number of retail products available through First Fidelity."
 First Fidelity said the transaction will be accounted for as a purchase; is expected to close in the first quarter of 1994, and is expected to be accretive to earnings upon consummation.
 The transaction is subject to a number of customary closing conditions. It requires the approval of the regulatory authorities and of the shareholders of both BankVest, Inc. and First Peoples National Bank.
 In addition BankVest has granted First Fidelity an option to purchase 4.9 percent of the outstanding First Peoples shares, which is only exercisable under certain conditions.
 First Fidelity, with $32.3 billion in assets, is among the country's 25 largest banking companies and operates more than 600 offices through its principal subsidiaries, Union Trust Company of Stamford, Conn., and the First Fidelity Banks of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
 /delval/
 -0- 8/27/93
 /CONTACT: Paul J. Levine (media), 201-565-2949, or Laura A. Schaible (analyst), 201-565-3397, both of First Fidelity Bancorporation, or Y. Judd Shoval of First Peoples (media and analyst), 717-283-0531/
 (FFB) CO: First Fidelity Bancorporation; BankVest, Inc.; First Peoples
 National Bank of Edwardsville ST: New Jersey, Pennsylvania IN: FIN SU: TNM


MK -- PH001 -- 6484 08/27/93 08:55 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 27, 1993
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