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Updated: December 7, 2023

Gorham Saving Bank, Maine Community Bank agree to merger

Side by side portraits File photos The enlarged Maine Community Bank will be led by Steve deCastro, right, as CEO, and Jeanne Hulit as president until her retirement 12 months after a merger between Maine Community Bank and Gorham Savings Bank is finalized.
Merger details at a glance 
More Information

Gorham Savings Bank and Maine Community Bank have agreed to join forces in a merger that will create an entity with nearly $2.7 billion in assets and a branch network across three counties.

Steve deCastro, president and CEO of Gorham Savings Bank, will serve as CEO of the enlarged Maine Community Bank. It will be headquartered in Portland with operations centers in Gorham and Westbrook.

Jean Hulit, president and CEO of Biddeford-based Maine Community Bank, will serve as president of the merged entity until her retirement 12 months after the merger. She will also stay on as a bank corporator, a volunteer position, but have no other role or responsibilities.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

The combination comes nearly four years after Mechanic Savings Bank joined forces with Biddeford Savings to form Maine Community Bank in a merger completed Jan. 1, 2020.

After merging with Gorham Savings, the enlarged Maine Community Bank will become the state's second-largest mutual savings bank, serving 76,000 depositors via 21 branches across Androscoggin, Cumberland and York counties and employing 400 people. 

“Merging our two institutions makes sense across the board and marks an exciting new chapter,” deCastro said in Thursday's announcement. “Our values and mission align very well, underpinning our commitment to meeting the ever-growing needs of our customers, acting as a force for good in the communities we serve, and providing greater opportunities for our employees.

"Jeanne and I have known each other for many years and I’m excited about the opportunities ahead, building one even more capable financial services institution that also maintains a local focus," he added.

The companies told Mainebiz that the topic of potential merger came up about 18 months ago during an unrelated, informal conversation and that both immediately saw the benefits a consolidation could bring.

Noting that community banking is the foundation of Maine’s economy, Hulit said, “Our shared values and commitment to the mission of mutual savings banks has shaped this merger and I look forward to partnering with Steve and the Gorham Savings Bank team.” 

Building exterior
Photo / Renee Cordes
After the merger, the enlarged Maine Community Bank will be headquartered on India Street in Portland, where Gorham Savings is now.

The companies said that no employee reductions are planned as a result of the merger. As far as branches are concerned, the companies told Mainebiz that they have three locations with overlapping branches and would make decisions on how to best serve those locations through the integration process.

Timetable and other details

Gorham Savings has assets of $1.65 billion, while Maine Community Bank has assets of $1.1 billion. Mutual savings banks are a type of financial institution owned by their depositors in contrast to national banks, which are typically owned by shareholders.

The merger, unanimously approved by the boards of both entities, is expected to close by the third quarter of 2024, subject to customary closing conditions including approval by regulators and corporators. The companies told Mainebiz that they are not aware of any circumstances that would prevent the transaction from getting regulatory approval.

The combined company will be governed by a 16-person board of directors consisting of an equal number of Maine Community Bank and Gorham Savings Bank directors.

Jeffrey S. Worthing, who currently chairs Maine Community Bank's board, will serve in the same role at the merged entity. Gorham Savings' current board chair, Kathy Coster, will serve on the combined board, while Gorham Savings' current vice chair, Jere Michelson, will retain his position.

Financial and legal advisors 

Piper Sandler & Co. served as financial advisor to Gorham Savings Bank on the transaction, while Performance Trust Capital Partners served as financial advisor to Maine Community Bank.  

Goodwin Procter LLP provided legal counsel to Maine Community Bank. Luse Gorman PC served as legal counsel to Gorham Savings Bank.

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