SOURCE: Center Bancorp, Inc.

August 25, 2005 11:30 ET

Center Bancorp, Inc. Delcares Quarterly Cash Dividend of $.09 per Share

UNION, NJ -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 25, 2005 -- Center Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ: CNBC), parent company to Union Center National Bank of Union, New Jersey, announced that the Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $.09 per share, for the quarter ending September 30, 2005. The dividend will be distributed on November 1, 2005, to shareholders of record on October 19, 2005.

Center Bancorp, Inc., through its wholly owned subsidiary, Union Center National Bank, Union, New Jersey, currently operates thirteen banking locations. Banking centers are located in Union Township (6 locations), Berkeley Heights, Madison, Millburn/Vauxhall, Morristown (2 locations), Springfield, and Summit, New Jersey. The Bank also operates remote ATM locations in the Union New Jersey Transit train station and in Union Hospital. The Bank also received recent approvals to install and operate two additional off-premise ATM locations in the Chatham and Madison New Jersey Transit Stations.

Union Center National Bank is the largest commercial Bank headquartered in Union County; it was chartered in 1923 and is a full-service banking company.

For further information regarding Center Bancorp Inc., call 1-(800)-862-3683. For information regarding Union Center National Bank visit our web site at

All non-historical statements in this press release (including statements regarding future net interest margin, anticipated growth in the loan portfolio and overall performance) constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements may use such forward-looking terminology as "expect," "look," "believe," "plan," "anticipate," "may," "will" or similar statements or variations of such terms or otherwise express views concerning trends and the future. Such forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties. These include, but are not limited to, the direction of interest rates, continued levels of loan quality and origination volume, continued relationships with major customers including sources for loans, as well as the effects of international, national, regional and local economic conditions and legal and regulatory barriers and structure, including those relating to the deregulation of the financial services industry, and other risks cited in reports filed by the Corporation with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results may differ materially from such forward-looking statements. Center Bancorp, Inc. assumes no obligation for updating any such forward-looking statement at any time.

Center Bancorp plans to file a Registration Statement on SEC Form S-4 in connection with the merger and the parties expect to mail a Proxy Statement/Prospectus to shareholders containing information about the merger. INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS ARE URGED TO READ THE REGISTRATION STATEMENT AND THE PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS CAREFULLY WHEN THEY ARE AVAILABLE. THE REGISTRATION STATEMENT AND THE PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT CENTER BANCORP, RED OAK, THE MERGER AND RELATED MATTERS. Investors and security holders will be able to obtain free copies of these documents through the web site maintained by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission at In addition to the Registration Statement and the Proxy Statement/Prospectus, Center Bancorp files annual, quarterly and special reports, proxy statements and other information with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You may read and copy any reports, statements and other information filed by Center Bancorp at the SEC public reference rooms at 450 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20549 or at the Commission's other public reference rooms in New York, New York, and Chicago, Illinois. Please call the Commission at 1-800-SEC-0330 for further information on public reference rooms. Center Bancorp's filings with the Commission also are available to the public from commercial document-retrieval services and at the web site maintained by the Commission at Red Oak, its directors, executive officers and certain members of management and employees may be soliciting proxies from Red Oak's stockholders in favor of the adoption of the merger agreement. A description of any interests that Red Oak's directors and executive officers have in the merger will be available in the Proxy Statement/Prospectus. This press release does not constitute an offer of any securities for sale.

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