AmericanWest Bank in Spokane, Wash., is deepening its presence in California with plans to acquire Security Business Bank of San Diego.

The $2.3 billion-asset bank announced Tuesday that it is buying the $233 million-asset bank for $26 million in cash, or $14.32 per share. The deal is scheduled to close in the third quarter.

AmericanWest moved into the Golden State last year when it bought the $292 million-asset Sunrise Bank in San Diego from the struggling Capitol Bancorp. In a press release, AmericanWest said Security Business' four locations in San Diego County would complement its existing four branches in southern California

According to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Security Business earned $201,000 last year 2011, compared to a loss of $437,000 in 2010. At Dec. 31, its ratio of nonperforming loans to total loans was 1.19%, down from 4.32% a year earlier.

The acquisition would be AmericanWest's fourth since July 2011. Aside from Sunrise, it also bought the $146 million-asset Bank of the Northwest in Bellevue, Wash., from Capitol and the $406 million-asset Viking Financial Services Corp. in Seattle.

Though AmericanWest's network of branches resembles a barbell, the bank's chairman and chief executive, Scott A. Kisting, has said that its plan is to build a $12 billion-asset bank that covers the whole West Coast within five years. The acquisition of Security Business doesn't do much to bridge the gap, but Kisting said in an interview late last year that he is particularly on the hunt for acquisitions in 2012 that will.

In late 2010, the bank narrowly escaped failure through its holding company filing for bankruptcy. A group of investors led by SKBHC Holdings bought the then $1.6 billion-asset bank in an auction by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Washington, for $6.5 million. SKBHC injected $185 million into the bank and it has roughly $500 million on the sidelines to support future growth.

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