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AmericanWest agrees to buy Seattle bank

AmericanWest Bank plans to buy a Seattle-based bank for $7.2 million in a move that gives the Spokane institution a larger footprint in Western Washington.

Viking Bank has seven branches, assets valued at $406 million and deposits totaling $379 million. The agreement still requires federal regulatory approval, but is expected to close by the end of this year.

AmericanWest has 63 branches in Washington, Idaho, California and Utah. Earlier this year it acquired Bank of the Northwest, which has offices in the Puget Sound region. It also agreed over the summer to buy Sunrise Bank, a Southern California institution.

AmericanWest has about $2 billion in assets and deposits of $1.6 billion.

The financial terms of the deal, characterized as a merger, call for shareholders of Viking to receive $7.2 million in cash, or $2.65 a share.

About 41.7 percent of the bank’s shareholders have agreed to vote all of their shares in favor of the merger, according to a statement issued by AmericanWest Bank on Thursday morning.

West Side bank to merge into AmericanWest

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 , Chief Executive Officer Scott Kisting said.

Kisting is also CEO of Starbucks Bancshares Inc., which acquired Spokane-based AmericanWest in December. Starbucks, which also owns a small bank in Minnesota, injected $185 million in new capital into AmericanWest.

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

Purchase of AmericanWest closes

The purchase of AmericanWest Bank by a new holding company closed today.

SKBHC Holdings LLC paid $6.5 million for the Spokane bank and its Utah division, Far West Bank. The group also injected $185 million in capital into AmericanWest, which was reeling from losses on construction and real estate loans.

The seller was AmericanWest Bancorporation.

The new president and chief executive officer of AmericanWest, Scott Kisting, said the institution will intensify its focus on community banking.

“This is the start of a dynamic period of strenghtening relationships with customers and expanding our franchise when possible,” he said.

AmericanWest has 40 branches in Washington and Idaho. Far West has 18 in Utah.