Business

Eastern Bank expands into N.H. with Centrix deal

Eastern Bank has completed its $134 million acquisition of New Hampshire-based Centrix Bank & Trust.

Eastern said on Friday that it would change signs at the Centrix branches and convert 10,000 customer accounts this weekend.

The purchase has allowed Eastern, the largest community bank in Massachusetts, to gain a foothold into New Hampshire. Centrix was a small commercial lender based in Bedford, N.H., with seven branches.

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Southern New Hampshire was particularly appealing to Eastern, since the region weathered the recent recession well and its economy has grown. With this acquisition, Eastern grows into a $9.5 billion bank with 102 branches in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

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Eastern has been buying smaller competitors at a regular clip. In 2010, it acquired Wainwright Bank & Trust Co. of Boston.

Bank analysts have said as the economy recovers the time is right for bank mergers and acquisitions as smaller institutions try to regain their footing and larger banks make attractive offers.

Deirdre Fernandes

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