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July 17, 2014

Cape Ann Savings taking in Granite Savings in merger

Cape Ann Savings Bank of Gloucester and the Rockport-based Granite Savings Bank announced plans Wednesday to merge Granite into the Cape Ann Savings institution headquartered on Rogers Street.

The announcement came around 5 p.m. and indicated that the banks have signed a “definitive agreement” for the merger.

Cape Ann Savings Bank, launched in 1846, includes branches at its Rogers Street headquarters and on Beach Street in Manchester. Rockport’s Granite Savings Bank, founded in 1884, is headquartered and has its one office on Main Street in Rockport after moving there from Broadway in 2010. Each bank also has a number of automated teller machine outlets across Gloucester and Rockport.

Gloucester attorney Michael Faherty, serving as both a trustee and chief counsel for Cape Ann Savings, said Granite Savings will maintain its identity as the Granite Branch of Cape Ann Savings.

“They’ll retain their identity; they’ve been around a very long time,” he said.

Faherty also stressed that the deal is a pending merger, not an acquisition.

“There’s no price; there’s no acquisition,” he said. “No one is making any money off this. This is simply a merger. It is simply two banks becoming one.”

Bank officials said that Cape Ann Savings Bank currently has 61 full-time employees, while Granite has 13. As of June 30, 2014, Cape Ann had assets of $472 million and Granite $70 million, records show.

Faherty said the deal will need the approval of corporators of both banks, as well as approvals from the state’s Division of Banks and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) — a process that could take a few months, he said. The corporators’ vote will require a two-thirds approval.

Faherty and other bank officials said Wednesday that the deal has been in the works since last September.

That’s when Norman S. Seppala, president and CEO of Granite Savings Bank, approached the larger Cape Ann Savings Bank to explore a consolidation effort, according to the banks’ announcement.

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