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HARMONIA SHAREHOLDERS OVERWHELMINGLY APPROVE MERGER AGREEMENT WITH SOVEREIGN BANCORP

 KENILWORTH, N.J., Nov. 30 ~PRNewswire~ -- Harmonia Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: HBCI) shareholders overwhelmingly approved the merger agreement dated July 1, 1992, between Harmonia Bancorp, Inc. and Sovereign Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: SVRN), providing for the merger of Harmonia with and into Sovereign, a bank holding company headquartered in Wyomissing, Pa. The merger was approved at a special meeting of shareholders held Nov. 24, 1992, at the Newark Airport Marriott Hotel.
 Harmonia shareholders will receive $20 for each share of Harmonia common stock in the form of $2.50 in cash and $17.50 in Sovereign common stock. The total value of the merger is estimated at $82 million which equates to 95 percent of Harmonia's tangible book value. Sovereign is presently being traded at about $10.50 per share on the NASDAQ.
 Walter D. Tombs, chairman of the board and CEO of Harmonia, stated, "Harmonia was sought by other financial institutions but the board of directors and the management of Harmonia strongly felt that Sovereign offered the best package for the shareholders, the community and the employees of Harmonia." He further stated that the vote which ran over 96 percent in favor of the merger clearly demonstrated the shareholders' support of the merger decision.
 Sovereign Bancorp recently acquired the $600 million asset Jersey Shore Savings, a Toms River-based savings and loan. Upon completion of the merger with Harmonia, Sovereign will be the 18th largest thrift in the country with about $3.2 billion in assets and 60 community banking offices in eight eastern Pennsylvania counties and six counties in central New Jersey. The merger is expected to be completed sometime in the first quarter of 1993.
 -0- 11~30~92
 ~CONTACT: Albert D. Chamberlain of Harmonia Bancorp, 908-241-8400~
 (HBCI)


CO: Harmonia Bancorp, Inc. ST: New Jersey IN: FIN SU: TNM

CK-PS -- NY017 -- 4051 11~30~92 10:00 EST
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Date:Nov 30, 1992
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