Two banks are merging to create what they say will be the largest bank based in central and southern Jersey.

The parent company of Toms River-based OceanFirst Bank has agreed to acquire Cape Bank in a deal valued at $208 million. The merged bank will have 49 locations and $4.3 billion in assets.

OceanFirst Bank has $2.6 billion in assets and 27 branches in Ocean, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties. Cape Bank has $1.6 billion in assets and 22 branches in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Gloucester counties.

OceanFirst CEO Christopher Maher tells the Asbury Park Press Cape Bank will be rebranded as OceanFirst and executives will evaluate back office staffing levels at Cape Bank after the deal closes later this year.

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