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Berkshire Hills Completes Beacon Acquisition

PITTSFIELD, Mass., Oct. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --  Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq: BHLB) today completed its acquisition of Beacon Federal Bancorp, Inc., a nearly $1.0 billion bank with seven offices headquartered in East Syracuse, New York.  Berkshire Hills is the parent of Berkshire Bank, America's Most Exciting Bank(SM).  Beacon Federal has been merged into Berkshire Bank.

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Berkshire CEO Michael P. Daly stated, "We are pleased to expand our Central New York presence in this partnership with Beacon.  We now have a total of ten offices serving the Syracuse/ Rome/ Utica area.  We have been working closely with the Beacon team to prepare for this merger, and I am delighted with their customer service orientation and eagerness to be part of our team at America's Most Exciting Bank(SM).  We are introducing our increased lending resources and additional products and services to our new customers, together with our resources to serve our communities.  We welcome our new shareholders from Beacon and we are confident that this partnership will benefit existing and new shareholders."

The total common stock consideration paid by Berkshire will include approximately $60 million in cash and 2.7 million shares of BHLB common stock.  A cash/stock election among Beacon shareholders will be concluded as of 5:00 p.m. today, October 19.  Berkshire plans to report election results and the distribution of consideration within a week of the election deadline in accordance with the merger agreement.   

With the completion of this merger, Berkshire will have assets totaling approximately $5.5 billion, with a total of 73 branches serving Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Vermont (excluding two Beacon Tennessee branches which are intended to be divested).  Berkshire's outstanding shares will total approximately 25 million shares, resulting in a market capitalization exceeding $550 million.  The cash consideration for the Beacon closing was primarily financed with proceeds from $75 million in subordinated debt which was invested in Berkshire by institutional investors on September 28, 2012.


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