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STERLING BANCORP TO ACHIEVE A BUSINESS COMBINATION WITH LONG ISLAND'S CONTINENTAL BANK

 NEW YORK and GARDEN CITY, L.I., N.Y., March 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Sterling Bancorp (NYSE: STL), holding company of the Sterling National Bank and Trust Company of New York, and the Continental Bank of Garden City, N.Y., today announced an agreement in principle for a business combination involving an exchange of Sterling Bancorp common shares for outstanding Continental Bank shares.
 Sterling Bancorp, with assets as of Dec. 31, 1992, of $578 million and deposits at its subsidiary bank at that date of $480 million, is, through Sterling National Bank and Trust Company, a leader in financial services to middle market businesses and high-net-worth individuals in the New York metropolitan region. Sterling currently has offices in Manhattan and Queens. Sterling Bank's Tier 1 Capital of $45.4 million is more than four times minimum regulatory requirements.
 Continental Bank, with its Nassau County office in Garden City, L.I., and with a Suffolk County branch in North Babylon, L.I., is a well-established banking organization in those two communities. As of Dec. 31, 1992, its assets were $112 million and its deposits were $103 million. It has Tier 1 Capital of $8.1 million.
 Louis J. Cappelli, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Sterling Bancorp, stated, "We very much look onward to having Continental as a business partner. Continental is a highly regarded and well-positioned community bank. Among its strengths is a very strong identification with middle market customers in its communities. These customers, while generally smaller than those served by Sterling Bank in its markets, have many of the same financial service needs. Our combined organization, therefore, will be well-positioned to meet these needs with desired products and services."
 "Moreover," Mr. Capelli added, "from Sterling's perspective, the combination will enable our organization to gain entry into two attractive geographic markets contiguous to our New York City presence. We view both Nassau and Suffolk counties as areas of excellent growth opportunity for Sterling, in light of or competitive strengths with middle market and high-net-worth customers and the high value we place on customer service and relationships."
 Stanley Tulchin, chairman of the Continental Bank, stated, "The combination of Continental with Sterling holds great potential to Continental in terms of its ability to grow and to have a competitive edge in meeting the needs of our customers.
 "In entering into this transaction, we carefully reviewed a broad range of considerations. Continental has a long tradition of high quality service to its customers and communities. Sterling has a similar tradition with its customers and the communities in which it has a presence. While Continental's capital position is sound, we are aligning our organization with one which not only has very strong capital but places a premium on maintaining such a position. The combination of Continental and Sterling, therefore, will provide the operations of Continental with the important added strengths of capital, expertise, support and products. This should mean greater opportunities for Continental, our customers, employees and the communities we serve," he said.
 All branch office locations of both Continental and Sterling will be retained after the proposed transaction, which is expected to lead, over time, to expanded opportunities.
 The transaction is subject to completion and approval by the boards of directors of Continental and Sterling and the shareholders of Continental of a definitive agreement and appropriate regulatory authorizations.
 -0- 3/9/93
 /CONTACT: Roy Winnick or Robert Siegfried of Kekst and Company, 212-593-2655, for Sterling Bancorp/
 (STL)


CO: Sterling Bancorp; Continental Bank ST: New York IN: FIN SU: TNM

PS-TS -- NY045 -- 4520 03/09/93 12:17 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 9, 1993
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