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MERIDIAN/COMMONWEALTH BANCSHARES AFFILIATION PROGRESSES; DUE DILIGENCE EXAMINATION IS COMPLETED

 READING, Pa., May 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Meridian Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRDN) today announced the completion of its due diligence review of Commonwealth Bancshares Corporation. The affiliation of the two companies is anticipated to occur late in the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter of this year.
 Meridian and Commonwealth announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement on March 30, 1993. The transaction remains subject to regulatory approvals and to approval by Meridian and Commonwealth shareholders.
 Samuel A. McCullough, Meridian's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, "Based upon the results of our analysis of Commonwealth's financial position and operations, we have completed our due diligence review ahead of schedule and look forward to the affiliation of our companies."
 McCullough said the due diligence examination has reaffirmed Meridian's earlier estimate of cost savings and also provides the opportunity to enhance revenues through, among other things, additional product offerings. The transaction will be accretive to Meridian's earnings per share by the end of 1994.
 At March 31, 1993, Meridian reported net income of $31.5 million on assets of $12.1 billion. For the same quarter, Commonwealth reported net income of $6.0 million on assets of $2.1 billion.
 /delval/
 -0- 5/25/93
 /CONTACT: George Biechler, 215-655-2470, Bob Shade, 215-655-2463, both of Meridian, or V. Jud Rogers of Commonwealth, 717-327-2703/
 (MRDN)


CO: Meridian Bancorp, Inc.; Commonwealth Bancshares Corporation ST: Pennsylvania IN: FIN SU:

CC -- PH019 -- 2222 05/25/93 14:00 EDT
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Date:May 25, 1993
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