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AmericanWest Bancorp completes deal

Spokane-based AmericanWest Bancorp. completed its acquisition of Columbia Trust Bancorp. Thursday, creating a combined company with $1.3 billion in assets and more than 500 employees.

AmericanWest bought the Pasco-based bank in a stock-and-cash deal worth $35.75 million. As of May 1, Columbia Trust Bank branches in Pasco, Kennewick, Sunnyside and Yakima will be converted to the AmericanWest name.

Three AmericanWest branches in those markets will be sold, said bank spokeswoman Kelly McPhee. Those are a financial center in Sunnyside and two branches in Yakima.

The acquisition will cost up to $2.2 million in non-recurring expenses, AmericanWest said in a press release.

Robert Daugherty, AmericanWest’s CEO, said Columbia Trust was a natural acquisition target.

“We identified that market as one of our primary growth markets, and one where we didn’t have as much market share,” he said. In addition, Columbia Trust shares AmericanWest’s focus on “relationship banking,” he said.

Together, the banks will have 44 branches in central and Eastern Washington and North Idaho.

AmericanWest paid $17.5 million in cash and issued about 720,000 shares of stock to Columbia Trust shareholders. AmericanWest shares fell 6 cents in trading Thursday to close at $26.22.

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