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Commerce Will Be Acquired by TD Bank

By Al Campbell

COURT HOUSE — Commerce Bancorp, which operates Commerce Bank branches here, in Wildwood, Marmora, and Ocean City has announced its intention to be acquired by TD Bank Financial for $8.5 billion in cash and stock.
The bank, one of Canada’s largest banking groups, will acquire Commerce, which has 450 branches ranging from Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Florida, for a reported price of $42.37 per share. Shareholders will receive 0.4142 shares of TD Bank and $10.50 cash. That would be a 7 percent premium over Commerce’s closing price on Oct. 1 of $39.61.
The bank is based in Toronto. The deal is expected to close in the first or second quarter of 2008.
Commerce is one of a shrinking number of stand-alone regional banks. It considers its branch offices as “stores,” and focuses on customer service, including being open seven days a week.
The acquisition was made possible after bank founder, chairman and chief executive, Vernon W. Hill II, left the company in June.
Rumors of the bank’s sale had flown since that time.

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