BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Eastern Bankshares, Inc. (“Eastern”) (Nasdaq Global Select Market: EBC), the stock holding company for Eastern Bank, and Needham Bank (“Needham”) today jointly announced they have entered into an asset purchase agreement for the transfer to Needham of Eastern’s cannabis-related and money service business deposit relationships which were acquired during its merger with Century Bank and Trust Company.
“We have spent considerable time reviewing the cannabis banking operation and remain very impressed with how these businesses have been served,” said Bob Rivers, Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the Board of Eastern and Eastern Bank. “However, we have determined the business is not well-aligned with our approach to serving our business customers due to the special handling required with meeting the banking needs of cannabis-related businesses at this time. Needham Bank has solid capabilities to provide extensive service to this important business sector, and we applaud the strong commitment they are making to support the industry.”
“The cannabis industry is rapidly growing, and this transaction presents an exciting opportunity and excellent entry into this evolving and dynamic segment,” said Joseph Campanelli, President and Chief Executive Officer of Needham Bank. “Our entire Needham team looks forward to welcoming these customers and the team servicing them, and to ensuring their smooth transition to our organization.”
The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2022, subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions. Terms of the transaction, which are not material to Eastern, were not disclosed. Over the coming months, cannabis banking customers will receive regular updates, including how to prepare for the transition pending regulatory approval. Customers with questions are invited to contact Cannabis Business Leader Paul Evangelista, who launched and led the cannabis banking strategy at Century Bank over the past nine years. Mr. Evangelista and his experienced team will continue working with customers during the transition period, and plan to join and remain with Needham Bank upon the closing of the transaction.
Statements in this press release regarding the proposed transfer of Eastern’s cannabis and money services businesses (the “Transferred Businesses”) to Needham (the “Transaction”), and the future results, growth, business plans and prospects of such businesses, as well as any other statements that are not related to present facts or current conditions or that are not purely historical, constitute forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on the historical performance of the Transferred Businesses, and the respective plans, estimates and expectations of Eastern and Needham as of the date of this release. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding anticipated future events and can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. They often include words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” and “intend” or future or conditional verbs such as “will,” “would,” “should,” “could,” or “may.” Forward-looking statements, by their nature, are subject to risks and uncertainties. Certain factors relating to the proposed Transaction that could cause or contribute to actual results differing materially from expected results include, but are not limited to, that the Transaction may not be timely completed, if at all; that prior to the completion of the Transaction or thereafter, the Transferred Businesses may not perform as expected due to Transaction-related uncertainty or other factors; that Needham is unable to successfully implement integration strategies; that required regulatory or other approvals are not obtained or other closing conditions are not satisfied in a timely manner or at all; that the timing of completion of the proposed Transaction is dependent on various factors that cannot be predicted with precision as of the date of this press release; reputational risks and the reaction of the companies’ customers to the proposed Transaction; the inability to implement onboarding plans and other consequences associated with transfer of the Transferred Businesses; that Mr. Evangelista and members of his team may choose not to join Needham or remain employed by Needham; and diversion of management time on Transaction-related issues.
About Eastern Bankshares, Inc. and Eastern Bank
Eastern Bankshares, Inc. is the stock holding company for Eastern Bank. Founded in 1818, Boston-based Eastern Bank has more than 110 locations serving communities in eastern Massachusetts, southern and coastal New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. As of September 30, 2021, Eastern Bank had approximately $17 billion in total assets. Eastern provides banking, investment and insurance products and services for consumers and businesses of all sizes, including through its Eastern Wealth Management division and its Eastern Insurance Group LLC subsidiary. Eastern takes pride in its outspoken advocacy and community support that includes $240 million in charitable giving since 1994. An inclusive company, Eastern employs approximately 1,900 deeply committed professionals who value relationships with their customers, colleagues, and communities as of September 30, 2021. For investor information, visit investor.easternbank.com.
About Needham Bank
Needham Bank offers an array of tech forward financial products and services including commercial loans and cash management services, consumer deposit and loan accounts, mobile and online banking and residential mortgage loans. Needham Bank has the financial expertise typically found at much larger institutions, and the local knowledge, commitment and relationship focus to help businesses and individuals build for their futures. Known as the “Builder’s Bank”, Needham Bank has been helping individuals, businesses and non-profits build for their futures since 1892. For more information please visit https://NeedhamBank.com. Needham Bank is a member of the FDIC and DIF.