The two banks announced in mid-April that they planned to merge through a definitive agreement, pending shareholder approval.
Now it's time for the shareholders to decide the fate of the
"It's important for everyone to get out and vote," said
Rockport National has roughly 200 shareholders, Shea said, and those shareholders own just over 204,000 shares in the bank's stock, he added.
A two-thirds majority vote is needed for merger approval, according to a letter from Shea to shareholders dated
"Each shareholder's vote is extremely important, because the proposal to approve the merger agreement requires the favorable vote of two-thirds of all outstanding shares to be approved," Shea wrote in the letter.
The letter indicates that, if a shareholder turns in a proxy card without checking "yea" or "nay," the vote will be counted as in favor. By the same token, the shares of those who do not vote at all will be considered automatically against.
While shareholders can vote at the meeting, all were reportedly sent a packet with proxy cards to use to vote before the meeting. Voting can also be done via Internet or phone, according to the letter, through the board's proxy solicitor,
In the past, Shea said only around 10 shareholders have shown up for meetings. But because of the nature of this meeting, he believes attendance will break the previous record.
"Hopefully, they'll come," he said.
If the merger is approved, all Rockport National branches -- two in
While the merger may be the main point of interest on the proxy cards and at the meeting, Shea noted that shareholders will also vote to allow the meeting to adjourn and continue at a later time if the two-thirds majority vote requirement isn't met. That would allow both sides to try to get more supporters, he said.
For those holding Rockport National stock, Institution for Savings promises to buy each share at
Outside of the group of shareholders, however, some have voiced concerns of what will happen if Rockport National is no more.
"I feel the bank is part of the fabric of
Some voiced similar concerns that losing the bank that bears the town's name is like giving up an important part of it. Others said they were concerned for Rockport National employees keeping their jobs.
Shea, however, said Institution for Savings plans to keep most Rockport National personnel.
"The vast majority -- 98 percent -- of the employees will be retained if they wish to be retained," he said.
As for the community, Shea said Institution plans to set a up a
"I'm fairly sure that will not go away," Shea said of the bank's role in the community.
Though Shea and the board have spoken favorable of the merger, he did say the possible merger is bittersweet.
"It's a happy time and it's a sad time," he said. "It's difficult, but I think when you look at all the aspects ... with Institution for Savings taking over, it's probably the best thing to do."
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