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TheStreet Open House

M&T Bank a Buy, Despite Hudson Merger Delay

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- There's a saying among Wall Street analysts: "This deal makes too much sense to not happen." That, however, has never stopped federal regulators from taking their sweet time to grant a merger approval.

Although there's been another delay in M&T Bank's (MTB) bid to acquire Hudson City Bancorp (HCBK), I don't believe frustrated investors should suddenly throw in the towel. This recent holdup could end up working in the companies' favor.

The original deal, which was expected to have closed sometime in the past six months, was announced a year-and-a-half ago for an estimated $3.7 billion in cash and stock. At the time, I thought it was a bold move by M&T. It an expensive deal relative to BB&T's (HCBK) (BBT) buyout of BankAtlantic, and picking off Hudson placed M&T right in the crosshairs of both Bank of America (BAC) and Wells Fargo (WFC).

Never lacking confidence in the M&T's management, investors cheered the news, sending M&T's stock soaring more than 45% since the deal's announcement. This reaction was far from a surprise. What was clear from the onset -- and still is today - is the value that M&T management will be able to create once all of the costs were stripped out.

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