Philadelphia's Valley Green Bank to merge with Univest

The Philadelphia-based Valley Green Bank will merge with Univest Corp. next year as part of a deal valued at $76 million.

Univest will purchase Valley Green Bank for $76 million in stock. The deal is expected to be approved by shareholders in the fall, with the merger expected to take place in early 2015, NewsWorks reports.

Founded in 2005 to support Philadelphia's local businesses, the bank will retain its name and mission to become a division of Univest.

"We believed that being located on an emerging main-street business corridor was an important symbol of what we were trying to create," Valley Green President Jay Goldstein said, according to NewsWorks. "We thought that by investing in a building on the corridor, we would spur further development."

The decision to merge with Univest was driven in part by the bank's desire to enhance its impact on the local community. The bank has focused on lending to non-profit organizations since its beginnings.

"Univest has been a relatively small community bank in southeastern Pennsylvania for the last 140 years, and they're vehemently independent," Goldstein said, NewsWorks reports. "For the first time, they believed in what was happening in the city of Philadelphia and its potential opportunities, but they also recognized they didn't have the expertise here. So, they sought us out to partner with us."

For retail customers, the merger means they will receive all of the bank's existing services, as well as mortgage, insurance, leasing and wealth management services provided by Univest.

"Borrowers will have the same relationship with the existing lenders, but we now have the capacity to lend significantly more than we could have in the past," Goldstein said, according to NewsWorks.