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Bryn Mawr acquisition likely to slow possible Central Pa. expansion

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Philadelphia-area Bryn Mawr Bank Corp. announced this week it reached an agreement to buy Continental Bank Holdings Inc. in Plymouth Meeting for $109 million.

Bryn Mawr Bank Corp., which bought the wealth management division of Hershey Trust in Derry Township in 2011, will pay its shareholders a special dividend of 15 cents per common share when the deal closes, according to a news release.

Frank Leto, Bryn Mawr’s executive vice president and head of its wealth management division, said in the winter the bank holding company has its eyes on Central Pennsylvania for future expansion, but the process might be a little slower now because of its most recent acquisition.

That doesn’t mean the company is taking its attention from the midstate.

“Would it slow us down? Yes, a little bit,” he said. “All of these kinds of transactions (like Continental) are subject to strict regulatory approvals that take a long time. And we’re very deliberate in the way we do these things.”

Leto, however, said Central Pennsylvania remains a target for the company’s expansion. He said he and Bryn Mawr CEO Ted Peters even broached the subject Thursday morning, though he wouldn’t divulge what the specific subject was.

“We’re not taking our eye off (Central Pennsylvania),” he said. “We’re always looking at acquisitions. It’s part of our strategy at the bank.”

Continental Bank started in 2005 and has 10 branches that will be merged into Bryn Mawr. It will bring $675 million in assets, $469 million in deposits and $398 million in loans.

Bryn Mawr has $2.1 billion in corporate assets and $7.4 billion in wealth and investment assets under management. It has 19 full-service branches in Pennsylvania and Delaware.

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