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AmericanWest to buy small NW bank

Bank of the Northwest has four offices

The holding company for AmericanWest Bank has agreed to purchase Bank of the Northwest, which operates four branches in the Puget Sound area.

The $17 million transaction is expected to close during the third quarter.

The Bellevue, Everett, Tacoma and Issaquah offices of Bank of the Northwest will be relabeled AmericanWest, Chairman Scott Kisting said.

Kisting is also chairman of SKBHC Holdings LLC, which acquired Spokane-based AmericanWest in December. SKBHC, which also owns a small bank in Minnesota, injected $185 million in new capital into AmericanWest.

SKBHC has access to an additional $500 million, and officers have said repeatedly they expect to build on the 58-branch AmericanWest network.

AmericanWest has total assets of $1.6 billion and $1.4 billion in deposits. Bank of the Northwest assets total $146 million, and deposits $127 million.

Kisting described Bank of the Northwest as a strong community bank focused on business. AmericanWest will add capital, new products and increased lending capabilities, he said.

“This transaction is about two community banks that complement one another in terms of geography, products and the importance we place on outstanding customer service,” Kisting said.

Bank of the Northwest is majority owned by affiliates of Capitol Bancorp Ltd., which have agreed to sell their shares for $6.83 in cash to an AmericanWest Bank affiliate that will be merged into the Spokane bank shortly after the deal closes.

Spokeswoman Kelly McPhee said SKBHC will pay about 14 percent above book value for Bank of Northwest, which was formed in February 2010 when Capitol consolidated what had been four separate banks.