New Jersey’s Investors Bancorp to acquire Long Island bank chain in $63M...

New Jersey’s Investors Bancorp to acquire Long Island bank chain in $63M deal

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Gold Coast's East Setauket location as well as the bank's other branches will soon be part of Investors Bank. Photo by Rita J. Egan

Investors Bancorp, Inc., based in Short Hills, New Jersey, announced its acquisition of Islandia-based Gold Coast Bancorp, Inc. last week.

According to a press release from Investors Bancorp, consideration will be paid to Gold Coast stockholders in a combination of stock and cash valued at $63.6 million. The deal is based on Investors’ July 23 closing price of $11.20. Gold Coast had assets of $563 million, loans of $463 million and deposits of $486 million as of March 31.

“We are pleased to partner with Gold Coast, a commercial bank with deep ties to the Long Island community and a strong track record of growth,” said Investors’ Chairman and CEO, Kevin Cummings in the press release. “This transaction strengthens Investors’ current suburban Long Island franchise and deepens our presence in this large, affluent market.”

Gold Coast founder John Tsunis said in a phone interview that the Long Island bank chain needed larger facilities to support its business. He said it could only facilitate up to $10 million in business as it had a cap.

“To better service our customers, we needed to get more capital to support what our customers are doing,” Tsunis said. “To do that we either had to raise capital in the markets or merge with another bank.”

Tsunis, the current CEO and chairman of Gold Coast, said Investors Bank is the largest commercial bank in New Jersey with approximately a $23 billion balance sheet in contrast to Gold Coast’s $700 million balance sheet.

Investors Bank will be able to offer more services than the smaller community branches of Gold Coast, he said. The new offers will include points and larger facilities.

“With seven branches we’re limited in our reach and our scope around our branches,” Tsunis said.

Gold Coast Bank will now be called Investors Bank and all branches will remain open. In addition to its Islandia headquarters, Gold Coast has locations in Huntington, East Setauket, Farmingdale, Mineola, Southampton and Brooklyn. Investors Bancorp’s CEO and chairman of the board have visited the Island to meet with employees. Most employees are expected to continue working at their branches.

Tsunis will stay on as chairman of the regional advisory board. He said he would continue to facilitate the growth of the relationships Gold Coast has established in its communities. All of the Gold Coast board members have been offered a board position on the Investors board on Long Island as well.

Tsunis said he feels the move will be a good one for Gold Coast customers.

“We endeavored to be a community bank in the areas we serve, and they subscribe to the same philosophy,” Tsunis said.

Investors Bank has 147 branches in New York and New Jersey, with seven located on Long Island. Locations can be found in East Northport, Commack, Wantagh, Mineola, Manhasset, Merrick and Franklin Square.