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West Coast and Columbia banks plan merger

Columbia Banking System and West Coast Bancorp intend to merge.

27 September 2012

West Coast Bancorp and Columbia Banking System have revealed they intend to merge.

Sales negotiations resulted in the transaction being valued at around $506 million (£312 million), with the enterprise having assets of approximately $7.2 billion when the combination is finalised.

Furthermore, the new brand will also have the greatest deposit market share in all commercial community banks across Washington and Oregon.

Chief executive officer and president of Columbia Melanie Dressel said she is "very pleased" that the merger is taking place.

It is an "exciting opportunity for both companies", she remarked, claiming the transaction will result in the creation of the "premier community banking franchise in the Pacific north-west".

The tie-up should be finalised in the first three months of 2013 and is expected to immediately be accretive to the earnings per share in Columbia.

However, although the boards of directors from both enterprises have unanimously agreed to the combination during business negotiations, regulators and shareholders will still have to approve the deal.

Posted by Ron Maverick

Source: Joint press release, September 26th

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