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HARLEYSVILLE, PA-Harleysville National Corp. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Emmaus-based East Penn Financial Corp. At the time the agreement was reached, the transaction was valued at $92.7 million, based on payment of approximately $14.50 per share for East Penn stock.

The actual price, however, will depend on factors that include the price of Harleysville National’s stock at the close of the transaction, which is expected to occur this fall. According to the agreement, the price will be no less than $86.3 million and no more than $99.1 million.

East Penn operates nine branches in Lehigh, Northampton and Berks counties. Under the agreement, East Penn will merge into and become a division of Harleysville National. Brent Peters, chairman, president and CEO of East Penn, will continue as president and executive officer of HNC’s East Penn division. East Penn Bank will continue to operate under its current name. In addition, nine existing Harleysville National Bank branches in Lehigh, Northampton, Monroe and Carbon counties will be transferred to that division and take on the East Penn Bank name and logo.

A spokeswoman for HNC tells GlobeSt.com that is because of East Penn’s historic presence in those Lehigh Valley locations. She says HNC currently has 45 branches in eight counties. In addition to the four named above, units are in Berks, Bucks, Montgomery and Chester counties. A 46th branch is set to open in East Norriton. Of the 46, the spokeswoman says, “several are smaller units in retirement communities.”

In a statement, Deb Takes, HNC’s president and CEO, calls the people “the most important element of every successful affiliation. We are very excited about the opportunity to extend our franchise into the Lehigh Valley with East Penn as our partner.”

Harleysville National, which trades on the Nasdaq under the call letters HNBC, has $3.3 billion in assets. East Penn, which trades under EPEN on the Nasdaq, has assets of $431 million. At midday on May 17, HNBC was trading at $15.75 a share, up a penny from its 52-week low and down nearly $6 per share from a 52-week high of $21.72 a share. EPEN was trading at $13.37 a share, near its 52-week high of $13.65 a share, and more than double its 52-week low of $6.51 a share.

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