EAST BOSTON – The holding company for East Boston Savings Bank has announced that the state Commissioner of Banks and the Federal Reserve Board have approved the start of its stock offering.The measure was also given approval by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.Meridian Interstate Bancorp, Inc., the mid-tier stock holding company for EBSB, is offering for sale between 8,542,500 and 11,557,500 shares of common stock.The sale is subject to a 15 percent increase up to 13,291,125 shares at a purchase price of $10 per share.The shares of common stock to be offered by Meridian will represent 43.7 percent of Meridian’s outstanding common stock. In connection with the offering, Meridian will also contribute 300,000 shares of its common stock to Meridian Charitable Foundation, Inc. Meridian Financial Services, Inc., the mutual holding company parent of EBSB, will own the remainder of the outstanding common stock and will be the majority stockholder of Meridian Interstate Bancorp.Meridian will offer shares of its common stock in a subscription offering first to depositors of EBSB with a qualifying deposit as of June 30, 2006, second to depositors of EBSB with a qualifying deposit as of June 30, 2007, third to the bank’s tax-qualified employee benefit plans, and finally to officers, directors, trustees, corporators and employees of Meridian Financial Services, Meridian Interstate Bancorp and East Boston Savings Bank who do not have a higher priority right.Meridian has established a Stock Information Center, which will open on November 26, 2007. Offering materials are available by contacting the Stock Information Center at (978) 977-8500. Hours of operation will be Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to p.m., Fridays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., except for bank holidays. Offering materials were mailed to eligible depositors on or about November 23, 2007.Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. is assisting Meridian Interstate Bancorp in selling its common stock in the offering on a best efforts basis. Muldoon Murphy & Aguggia LLP is acting as legal counsel to Meridian Interstate Bancorp. Silver Freedman & Taff, LLP is acting as legal counsel to Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc.Meridian Interstate Bancorp is headquartered in East Boston and operates through 11 full service offices and one loan center in the greater Boston metropolitan area.