OLNEY, Md., May 31, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sandy Spring Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq:SASR) announced today that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of CommerceFirst Bancorp, Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, CommerceFirst Bank. CommerceFirst Bank has been merged into Sandy Spring Bank.

Under the terms of the merger, CommerceFirst shareholders are receiving either $13.60 in cash or 0.8043 shares of Sandy Spring common stock for each share of CommerceFirst common stock held. Based on the final election results, CommerceFirst stockholders who elected to receive stock will receive a combination of stock and cash and those who elected to receive cash or who made no election will receive the cash consideration. Stockholders who have not previously surrendered their share certificates will receive information shortly on how to exchange their shares for the merger consideration.

As a result of the merger, Sandy Spring will expand its presence in Anne Arundel, Howard and Prince George's counties in central Maryland, where CommerceFirst Bank operated 5 full service branches. CommerceFirst's President and CEO, Richard J. Morgan, is joining Sandy Spring as Market President for the greater Annapolis region.

"We are pleased to welcome our new shareholders, clients and employees to Sandy Spring," said President and CEO Daniel J. Schrider. "Everything associated with this merger has gone extremely well. Our respective teams have been working to create a smooth transition for our new clients, and we are excited to bring our full range of products and services to them."

About Sandy Spring Bancorp/Sandy Spring Bank

With $3.9 billion in assets, Sandy Spring Bancorp, Inc. is the holding company for Sandy Spring Bank and its principal subsidiaries, Sandy Spring Insurance Corporation and West Financial Services, Inc. Sandy Spring Bancorp is the largest publicly traded banking company headquartered and operating in Maryland. Sandy Spring is a community banking organization that focuses its lending and other services on businesses and consumers in the local market area. Independent and community-oriented, Sandy Spring Bank was founded in 1868 and offers a broad range of commercial banking, retail banking and trust services through 49 community offices in Anne Arundel, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George's counties in Maryland, and Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun counties in Virginia. Through its subsidiaries, Sandy Spring Bank also offers a comprehensive menu of insurance and investment management services. Visit www.sandyspringbank.com to locate an ATM near you or for more information about Sandy Spring Bank.

The Sandy Spring Bancorp, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=4138

The CommerceFirst Bancorp, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=11282

Forward-Looking Statements

Sandy Spring Bancorp makes forward-looking statements in this news release. These forward-looking statements may include: statements of goals, intentions, earnings expectations, and other expectations; estimates of risks and of future costs and benefits; assessments of probable loan and lease losses; assessments of market risk; and statements of the ability to achieve financial and other goals.

Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words such as "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "intend," "outlook," "estimate," "forecast," "project" and other similar words and expressions. Forward-looking statements are subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties, which change over time. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Sandy Spring Bancorp does not assume any duty and does not undertake to update its forward-looking statements. Because forward-looking statements are subject to assumptions and uncertainties, actual results or future events could differ, possibly materially, from those that Sandy Spring Bancorp anticipated in its forward-looking statements and future results could differ materially from historical performance.

Sandy Spring Bancorp's forward-looking statements are subject to the following principal risks and uncertainties: general economic conditions and trends, either nationally or locally; conditions in the securities markets; changes in interest rates; changes in deposit flows, and in the demand for deposit, loan, and investment products and other financial services; changes in real estate values; changes in the quality or composition of the Company's loan or investment portfolios; changes in competitive pressures among financial institutions or from non-financial institutions; the Company's ability to retain key members of management; changes in legislation, regulations, and policies; and a variety of other matters which, by their nature, are subject to significant uncertainties. Sandy Spring Bancorp provides greater detail regarding some of these factors in its Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, including in the Risk Factors section of that report, and in its other SEC reports. Sandy Spring Bancorp's forward-looking statements may also be subject to other risks and uncertainties, including those that it may discuss elsewhere in this news release or in its filings with the SEC, accessible on the SEC's Web site at www.sec.gov.

For additional information or questions, please contact:
Daniel J. Schrider
President and Chief Executive Officer, or
Philip J. Mantua
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Sandy Spring Bancorp
17801 Georgia Avenue
Olney, Maryland 20832

Email: DSchrider@sandyspringbank.com

Web site: www.sandyspringbank.com