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Rockland Trust to buy People’s bank

Rockland Trust hopes to open branches in Boston soon with its acquisition of Peoples Federal Savings Bank, Rockland’s parent company said Tuesday.

Rockland Trust has traditionally had a strong presence south of Boston, but it has recently been expanding into communities to the west and north of the city. While the bank recently opened a commercial lending and investment management office in Boston, it lacked retail branches. The $130.6 million purchase of Peoples will fill that gap.

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This purchase will be “giving us more gravitas in the eastern Massachusetts geography,” said Christopher Oddleifson, the chief executive officer of Rockland Trust.

Peoples Federal Savings has $606 million in assets and eight branches, including four in the Boston neighborhoods of Brighton, Allston, West Roxbury, and Jamaica Plain. The bank also has branches in Brookline, Norwood, and Westwood.

Rockland, with $6.3 billion in assets, plans to keep all of Peoples’ branches open and retain the branch staff, Oddliefson said.

The deal needs approval from state and federal regulators. Oddliefson expects to close on the deal in early 2015.

Deirdre Fernandes can be reached at deirdre.fernandes@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @fernandesglobe.
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