NU Online News Service, March 1, 2005, 6:03 p.m. EST

KNBT Bancorp Inc. has agreed to acquire Caruso Benefits Group Inc.[@@]

The Harrisburg, Pa., bank says it is buying the Bethlehem, Pa., benefits manager to improve the services it offers its commercial customers.

Caruso was founded in 1971 and serves several thousand employers in Eastern Pennsylvania, KNBT says.

KNBT will pay $20 million for Caruso when the deal closes and $8 million more over the next 3 years if the firm meets profitability goals.

KNBT hopes to complete the deal by June 30.

The firm will continue to operate as Caruso Benefits Group Inc., KNBT says.