Customers Bank buys $1 billion D.C. lender

Customers Bancorp Inc., the fast-growing, suburban Reading-based company set up by former Sovereign Bank boss Jay S. Sidhu when he bought out the Phoenixville bank run by publisher Steve Forbes' brother-in-law a couple years back, has agreed to issue $65 million in new non-voting common and preferred stock in exchange for acquiring $1 billion asset Acacia Federal Savings Bank from owner Ameritas Mutual Holding Co.

The deal would make Customers a $3 billion asset bank with 15 offices stretching from Connecticut through New York, New Jersey, and southeast Pennsylvania, to Washington, DC.

The deal will also make Ameritas, a dental-plan and benefits manager, a nearly 10% voting owner (and 20% share owner) of Customers. Sidhu announced, and cancelled, a public share sale earlier this year. The sales agreement excludes "higher risk" an  non-performing loans and real estate, and Ameritas agreed to eat property and technology contract cancellation fees.

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