Camden National Bank, a subsidiary of Camden National Corporation, signed a definitive agreement April 23 to acquire 15 branch banking locations from Bank of America.

The acquisition will expand Camden National’s franchise to 53 branches and result in the largest market share of deposits held by any independent community bank headquartered in the state of Maine. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close by the end of the third quarter.

“This is a strategically compelling opportunity to expand and strengthen Camden National’s franchise, while deepening our commitment to our existing markets,” said Gregory A. Dufour, president and chief executive officer of Camden National in a news release. “These branches will enhance Camden National’s presence in the Bangor and Lewiston/Auburn markets while accelerating our expansion strategy in the Augusta market.”

Branches to be acquired include individual branches in Auburn, Brewer, Gardiner, Lewiston, Newport, Old Town, Rockland and Waterville as well as three branches in both the Augusta and Bangor markets. Camden National also expects to reopen the Orono branch.

Dufour said the transition will not take place until the end of the third quarter as the company still needs to get regulatory approval, which could take between 45 and 90 days. Customers of each bank should continue to conduct business as usual because the branches are not yet tied together, he said.

“This acquisition is a major investment in the state of Maine and a significant commitment to its people,” said Dufour. “Our expanded franchise will offer existing customers the added convenience of more locations in several markets, while those joining the Camden National family will experience the benefits of community banking at the location that is most convenient for them. People and businesses who are not yet customers of either organization will have the opportunity to enjoy the products and services that we provide, along with stellar personalized service and local decision making.”

“Our team is working closely with Bank of America to ensure a smooth transition for our new customers and employees,” said Dufour. “Our goal is to preserve jobs as we assess the impact the acquisition will have on our processes and staffing levels.”

During the next several weeks, Camden National and Bank of America will be communicating directly with customers at the affected branches to guide them through the process and assist with any questions. Customers at the affected branches will eventually become Camden National Bank customers and the bank will work with customers to issue new checks and debit cards, Dufour said.

Dufour said he expects to add jobs in the Midcoast as a result of the purchase.

Upon completion of the branch acquisition, Camden National expects to have approximately $2.7 billion in assets and $2 billion in deposits. Additionally, 53 branch locations and 60 ATMs across Maine will be complemented by Camden National’s online and mobile banking services.

“As a result of this transaction, our lenders and branch managers will have an even greater ability to invest in our local communities by lending money to the businesses and people they know and work with every day,” said Dufour.

The latest information on the transition can be found at camdennational.com.