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Sterling to buy Vancouver, Wash.-based bank

Sterling Financial Corporation of Spokane announced this morning that Sterling Savings Bank plans to buy First Independent Bank of Vancouver, Wash., including all deposits and banking operations, 14 branches in southeastern Washington and two offices in Portland. The purchase is expected to be completed early next year, subject to approval by regulators.

“We are pleased to welcome First Independent employees and clients into the Sterling family,” Greg Seibly, president and CEO of Sterling Financial, said in a prepared statement. “First Independent is an important strategic addition for Sterling … (and) provides an attractive opportunity to acquire a healthy community bank franchise within our identified strategic growth footprint along the I-5 corridor.”

Sterling will initially pay $8 million in addition to the net value of the acquired assets and assumed liabilities at the time of closing. Sterling has agreed to pay First Independent an additional premium of up to $17 million over an 18-month period following closing based on the credit performance of the acquired loans and the amount of any reductions in core deposits and wealth management income.

First Independent will retain about $49 million of existing loans and $34 million of other assets identified by Sterling, which Sterling did not seek to acquire. Sterling will assume all of First Independent’s deposits and certain customary obligations relating to its banking business, but no other material liabilities in the transaction.


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