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Boston-Area Bank Announces Plans to Go Public

By Dave Kovaleski – Jun 18, 2020 at 6:42PM

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It is the oldest and largest mutual bank in the U.S.

Boston-based Eastern Bank, the oldest and largest mutual bank in the country, announced plans to convert to a public company, with the public offering expected later this year as Eastern Bankshares.

The bank, founded in 1818, has $11 billion in assets with more than 110 branches in eastern Massachusetts, southern New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. The company offers banking, investment, and insurance products and services for consumers and businesses through its Eastern Wealth Management division and Eastern Insurance Group subsidiary. 

The words Initial Public Offering spelled out on a wood floor.

Image source: Getty Images.

"We are proud of Eastern Bank's history as the oldest and largest mutual bank in the United States and our enduring commitment to our customers, colleagues and communities," Bob Rivers, chair and CEO of Eastern Bank, said. "The conversion also provides an opportunity to build upon the incredible commitment of our depositors, employees, corporators and community partners. We want to express our greatest appreciation to them and look forward to making this offering available. I am confident that Eastern's dedication to building lasting relationships with our customers, colleagues and communities will remain as strong as ever after the conversion."

Eastern has historically donated about 10% of its net income every year to charitable giving, or a total of $140 million. Eastern will make a one-time stock donation to the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation (EBCF). The foundation will own 4% of the shares of Eastern Bankshares after the public offering.

As a mutual bank, it is owned by its depositors. There will be a subscription offering to qualifying Eastern Bank depositors, Eastern tax-qualified employee plans, and Eastern employees, directors, and corporators. Shares not purchased in the subscription offering will be offered to the public in a "community offering," with a preference given to residents of the communities served by the bank.

Eastern expects to raise approximately $1.3 billion to $1.7 billion in capital as a result of the conversion.

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