Updated February 27 at 4:27pm

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opinion

Will the purchase of Bank Rhode Island by Brookline Bancorp be a good thing for Rhode Island?

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Last week, Brookline Bancorp Inc. bought Bancorp Rhode Island for $234 million in cash and stock. The combined entity will have $4.7 billion in assets and $3.2 billion in deposits once the deal closes, which is expected in the 2011 fourth quarter.

Bank Rhode Island President and CEO Merrill W. Sherman, who will take a seat on Brookline Bancorp’s board of directors, characterized the deal as a win for shareholders and customers, because BankRI will be allowed to operate as a separate brand and will have access to more resources.

Do you think that BankRI will be able to retain its identity over the long run, and will that mean it will be a continuing, significant presence in Rhode Island?

brookline bancorp, bancorp rhode island, bank rhode island, bankri, merrill w. sherman, merger, acquisition, shareholders, customers

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