AmericanWest Bank has been taking nibbles along the West Coast for the last two years, but its latest acquisition amounts to a really big bite.

The $2.4 billion-asset company in Spokane, Wash., announced Tuesday that it would buy PremierWest Bancorp in Medford, Ore., for $16.6 million in cash. With assets of $1.2 billion, PremierWest comes close to matching the combined $1.3 billion of assets represented in the last five deals that AmericanWest Bank has announced since SKBHC Holdings bought it from the bankruptcy court in late 2010.

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